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ABC TV Seeks Preliminary Injunction Against Dish’s AutoHop

26 Nov, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Walt Disney Co.’s ABC Television network reportedly is seeking a preliminary injunction against Dish Network’s Hopper digital video recorder featuring controversial ad-skipping technology.

ABC TV, in a Nov. 24 filing in U.S. District Court in New York, is asking the judge to issue the injunction, claiming that Dish’s ad-skipping feature violates digital copyrights, in addition to broadcast license agreements, according to a Bloomberg report.

ABC, like Fox, CBS Corp. and NBC Universal, sued Dish regarding its AutoHop feature that allows subscribers to automatically delete commercials on recorded — not live — primetime television programs.

Earlier this month, a separate federal judge in California denied a similar injunction request by Fox Broadcast Television — claiming AutoHop was no different that what DVR users can now do with a remote control.

NBC is also asking the New York judge to transfer its case to Los Angeles — a motion Dish said has no merit. The satellite TV operator last summer filed suit against the networks claiming they conspired to deny its right to market the Hopper Whole-Home DVR.

Dish credits AutoHop in part for lessening subscriber churn, saying the ad-skipping feature is part-and-parcel of the DVR.

About the Author: Erik Gruenwedel

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