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N.Y. Federal Judge Denies Injunction Against Hopper

18 Sep, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Ruling is third legal victory for Dish Network’s DVR with controversial ad-skipping technology

A federal judge in New York Sept. 18 ruled against ABC Television Co. and its efforts to deny Dish Network subscribers from using select features on the cable operator's Hopper DVR.

Judge Laura Swain of the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court, ruled against the network’s bid for preliminary injunction against Hopper’s PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features.

With the PrimeTime Anytime, users have the ability to record the primetime shows on each of the four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and save them for up to eight days. The AutoHop feature can be enabled by users to play back certain recordings commercial-free, starting the day after broadcast. 

ABC, Fox, CBS and other media companies contend PrimeTime Anytime constitutes an unauthorized video-on-demand service that violates their copyrights. They have filed lawsuits against Dish in New York and Los Angeles.

Last summer, a federal court of appeals ruled against Fox Broadcasting Co.’s efforts to ban the Hopper.

“This decision is yet another victory for American consumers, and we are proud to have stood by their side in this important fight over the fundamental rights of consumer choice and control,” R. Stanton Dodge, EVP and general counsel at Dish, said in a statement. “This is the third federal court decision that has sided with Dish on consumers’ right to enjoy television as they want, when they want, including the right to skip commercials, if they so choose.”

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