21st Century Fox had hoped to persuade a federal appeals court in LA to overturn a decision that allowed Dish Network to keep selling its Hopper DVR while the companies battle over Fox’s claim that it infringes on its copyrights and breaches contracts. But the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Fox didn’t show that it was likely to win its case against the Hopper, which can automatically jump past commercials on recorded broadcast network shows — undermining the value of the ads. Fox says that it is “disappointed in the court’s ruling, even though the bar to secure a preliminary injunction is very high. This is not about consumer choice or advances in technology. It is about a company devising an unlicensed, unauthorized service that clearly infringes our copyrights and violates our contract. We will review all of our options and proceed accordingly.” Fox was appealing a November ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Judge Dolly Gee who refused to block sales of the Hopper, even though she agreed with Fox that Dish has likely committed copyright infringement. Dish says that consumers already have a right to skip over commercials, and its technology simply makes the process easier. “This decision 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,” says Dish General Counsel R. Stanton Dodge.
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