Judge rejects Fox's request for injunction against Dish's Hopper DVR

By Shawn Knight
Nov 8, 2012
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  1. Earlier this year Fox Broadcasting filed a lawsuit against Dish Network alleging the satellite television provider's Auto Hop feature on their Hopper DVR was guilty of copyright infringement and breach of contract. The network asked for an injunction to disable...

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  2. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,228   +314

    I don't understand how the judge can determine that the service breaches contract and constitutes copyright infringement.

    Although I don't have DISH, I would certainly make use of this. And in my mind, I'm paying for the channel's to watch - that's my subscription fee. It's up to me how I want to watch those channels.
    prismatics likes this.
  3. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 842   +11

    I know plenty of people who DVR shows then manual skip commercials, so what's the difference?
  4. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,362   +260

    I was thinking the exact same thing, hell my DVR has a button on it that skips 5 minutes at a time, in england advert breaks are only 5 minutes long so I'm doing exactly what this auto hop feature does except I have to press a single button each time I want to skip? How the hell is it breaking the law by doing this automatically?
  5. vpix360

    vpix360 Newcomer, in training

    Well this one is easy to solve. All DVRs will require that buyer pay a small fee at the time of purchase. Remember the (P) Phonogram copyright for Cassette tapes? The music industry affixed that (P) to BASF and other magnetic tape companies because consumers bought the tapes, went home and put our music on it.

    Same thing has to happen now with people buying the cheap $99 BlueRay DVD from from Best Buy and with the (V) video gram tax, Fox, ABC, CNN and every network out there gets a piece of the pie from people buying DVRs. BlueRay DVD's with Hopper or other DVR can and should be paying like $129 for the same DVR today costing $99. That $29 is then dropped into a pool of other buyers and the funds are then split up to the broadcasting giants.

    HBO, Cinemax, Playboy Channel, etc. It's got to cover all networks.

    OR -- we get some company to create and insert a DVR SmartChip into the box and it monitors what networks you watch, download to DVR and it sends a signal back to the Dish company who tacks on the extra (V) tax to your bill at the end of the month. Like 8 cents or so for every 10 hours of downloaded content.

    My two cents from an inventor who can see the future (think 2 products ahead).

    -- bart
    BlueDrake likes this.
  6. TJGeezer

    TJGeezer TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 384   +10

    Do Fox and the unnamed others charge advertisers for commercials shown a full day after broadcast? If they don't, I'd think there couldn't be any damages or basis for a suit. If they do, and are charging Dish accordingly, what's it to them if Dish subscribers elect to skip commercials? Is it solely a command and content control issue? I don't get this one, at least not from the Fox viewpoint.
  7. dennis777

    dennis777 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 271   +29

    Maybe they could add a button that do is "skip the show(show commercial only)" - all is happy :p
  8. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 169   +18

    I think it will be interesting to see where this goes. There are some "extremist" network execs out there that think that everyone who watches TV should be forced to watch commercials.

    There is also scientific evidence that indicates that the advertising model might not work. That is, people's buying choices are not influenced by commercials. IMHO, the whole commercial supported model does not work, but network execs refuse to face this and move forward to something that does.

    Time will tell, and I will watch this issue with great interest. To me, it seems that this is not that much of a step from banning DVRs all together. However, IMHO, this would fly in the face of previous US Supreme Court rulings that recordings made for home use do not violate copyright agreements.

    I found this interesting post that Philips invented a technology that would allow broadcasters to freeze up the channel when a commercial is playing so that you would have to watch the commercial. In addition, it also states that Micro$oft filed a patent that would enable charging you when you skip a commercial. IMHO, if anything like either of these ever makes it to market, there will be a mass consumer rebellion. http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/04/no-skipping-ads-forced-to-watch-tv.html
  9. sambob

    sambob Newcomer, in training

    Can't Imagine why people skip commercials, most one hour shows are only 40 minutes with 20 minutes of commercials tacked on, now times that by how many hours of TV you watch a night.
    While the auto skip feature Is nice, even If they have to remove the feature people will just push the button on the remote to skip them.
    So FOX was It worth the time and money spent to just chase you're own tail to end up back where you started???
  10. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 169   +18

    IMHO, the one of these most likely to get by with consumers is paying upfront - IF - it is not mentioned that that cost is included in the cost of the device. However, I suspect some consumer group would win a court case against this on the basis of that cost not being disclosed to the consumer.

    As to the second of your solutions, it was already patented by Micro$oft in 2006 (see my previous post). I bet that why we do not see it is that consumers would never go for it. We are already charged for channels we never watch, and now we should be charged because we do not want to watch commercials? I don't think so.

    As I said in my previous post, there is scientific evidence that TV advertising may not influence the buying habits of people. In addition, there is also scientific evidence that there is no such thing as the Tivo effect - I.e., that people skipping commercials in material that has been recorded on a DVR has absolutely no influence on their buying habits. http://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/stories/2010/05/03/daily6.html

    For anything like these ideas to be accepted in the marketplace, IMHO, there would have to be sound evidence that they resolve an existing problem. So far, the only "problem" is that TV execs do not like the fact that people skip commercials - even though this flies in the face of evidence to the contrary that somehow, perhaps through magic, people skipping commercials with a DVR has an effect on their buying habits.
    TJGeezer likes this.
  11. It used to be illegal to have as many commercials as we have on channels today. There should be no reason why we can't skip them unless, or course, channels drastically cut down on commercials themselves which is a huge LOL in itself.
  12. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Actually Fox has less of a leg to stand on then they usually do. See the content is not being modified at all. All it is doing is allowing the consumer to skip the commercials after a period of time. This is no different then getting up to use the restroom during a comercial break. The reason ppl have a DVR is because they wish to record their favorite shows. How is it a surprise that the consumer would wish to skip the commercials? Im 100% sure those executives are doing the same thing when they get home and watch their DVR. Besides, unless its a SuperBowl commercial no one wants to see them anyways.


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