UPDATE, 3:12 PM: The legal actions are flying. Dish Network filed a complaint of its own this afternoon to protect its Hopper DVR (read it here). And now NBC and CBS have joined the fray with suits against Dish, similar to the one Fox filed earlier. Dish asked the U.S. District Court in New York for a jury trial and declaratory judgement that the Auto Hop ad skipper is “in full compliance with copyright law and its re-broadcast agreements” with ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBCUniversal. “Auto Hop is a more efficient way of achieving what consumers already do with standard DVRs,” the complaint says. Dish adds that CBS, NBC and Fox had accepted ads for the Hopper before it it announced the Auto Hop feature this month. At that point they “began rejecting advertising from DISH featuring the Hopper or Auto Hop, claiming that the advertisements are contrary to their interests.” As a result, “DISH is reasonably apprehensive that it will soon be the target of litigation” while the networks’ public attacks on the DVR “create a real and immediate controversy over the proper interpretation” of its contracts with the networks.
NBC took its case to the same U.S. District Court in California where Fox filed its suit. “The U.S. broadcast networks cannot provide the news, sports and entertainment programming they have historically created and offered if the revenue-generating ads are systematically blotted out on an unauthorized basis by distributors like DISH,” it says.
Activist group Public Knowledge calls the network actions to thwart Auto Hop “a frontal assault on home recording and fair use. Ordinary consumers are in its crosshairs, while Fox demands technological stagnation from innovators.” (more…)