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L.A. Court Denies Fox’s Preliminary Injunction Against Dish’s Place-Shifting Technology

23 Sep, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Decision marks fourth legal setback for networks and media companies seeking to derail Dish Network’s Hopper DVR with ad-skipping and on-demand functionality

The U.S. District Court, Central District of California, in Los Angeles Sept. 23, denied a preliminary injunction motion filed by Fox Broadcasting Co. against two features found on Dish Network’s Hopper DVR.

Specifically, the court said Dish could continue marketing two place-shifting features — Dish Anywhere and Hopper Transfers. The latter is an iPad app that allows subscribers to move recorded television programs from the Hopper to the Apple tablet via the home's Wi-Fi connection. Dish Anywhere allows subs to watch TV shows and movies online.

With Hopper Transfers, a Dish customer can move or duplicate certain Hopper DVR recordings made by the customer to an iPad; and unlike the “Anywhere” function, no Internet connection is needed for viewing.

“Anywhere” uses Sling technology built into the Hopper, which enables customers, once they receive a television signal in their home, the capability to remotely view a TV signal from a single Internet-connected device (mobile phone, tablet or PC). Sling technology has been available since 2005 and this motion was the first of its kind in seven years.

Fox, which has thus far unsuccessfully sought to shut down Hopper’s ad-skipping technology, AutoHop, claims “Anytime” and “Transfers” violate copyrights and retransmissions agreements between Fox and Dish.

“Today’s decision is the fourth in a string of victories for consumers related to our Hopper Whole-Home DVR platform,” said R. Stanton Dodge, EVP and general counsel with Dish. “Dish is pleased that the court has sided again with consumer choice and control by rejecting Fox’s efforts to deny our customers’ access to ‘Anywhere’ and ‘Transfers.’ We will continue to vigorously defend consumers’ right to choice and control over their viewing experience.”


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