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Dish’s Hopper DVR Wins Another Legal Ruling

24 Jan, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Fox vows to continue legal fight against Hopper’s AutoHop technology that allows users to automatically skip commercials on recorded network programming

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Jan. 24 unanimously denied Fox Broadcasting Co.'s petition to rehear the court's July 2013 previous rejection of Fox's efforts to bar Dish subscribers from using the PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features found on the satellite operator's Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR.

The PrimeTime Anytime feature provides consumers with the ability to record primetime shows on up to four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and save them for up to eight days. The AutoHop feature gives viewers the ability to play back recorded programming without commercials, starting the day after broadcast.

"With this decision, the court continues to reject Fox's efforts to deny our customers access to PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop,” R. Stanton Dodge, Dish EVP and general counsel, said in a statement. "This is a 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."

Fox, which has now been defeated twice in court over the issue, said it would continue to seek legal recourse.

“We are disappointed in the decision but recognize that preliminary injunctions are rarely overturned on appeal,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement. “That said, the ruling was based on a factual record from more than a year ago. Now that we have gathered more evidence, we are confident that we will ultimately prevail on all of our claims.”

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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