Ad-skipping DVR litigation halted

March 17, 2015 7:12 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Fox Broadcasting and Dish Network have requested a stay of all litigation in a case revolving around Dish's ad-skipping DVR service known as AutoHop or the Hopper. The request, submitted to a California judge just one month before the trial was set to begin, asks to pause the suit until late October.

The two parties reference the soon-to-expire retransmission consent agreement in their stipulation, claiming "it is highly likely that the negotiation later this year of a renewal of their 2010 agreement will result in resolution of this lawsuit."

The AutoHop lawsuit, filed by Fox in May 2012, accused Dish of copyright infringement and breach of contract. AutoHop allows consumers to skip television ads, which Fox claims creates an unlicensed video-on-demand service. In 2013 the lawsuit was revised to include Dish Network's placeshifting technology, which gives customers the option to watch television content on computers and mobile devices while away from home.

At the time of the original filing Fox stated, "We were given no choice but to file suit against one of our largest distributors, Dish Network, because of their surprising move to market a product with the clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem. Their wrongheaded decision requires us to take swift action in order to aggressively defend the future of free, over-the-air television." Dish, meanwhile, claimed that it was making fair use of copyrights, insisting that consumers should be able to choose what they do and do not want to watch.

The agreement to pause comes on the heels of U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee's sealed summary judgment in the case, which both Fox and Dish have asked remain secret to avoid "impair[ing] the parties' ability to reach a resolution of the case," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

If you are involved in intellectual property litigation, contact a skilled business attorney immediately, who will be able to ensure that your rights are protected.

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