ABC asks judge to block Autohop


ABCABC is trying its hand in shutting down Dish’s ad-skipping DVR feature two weeks after a federal judge denied a similar bid by Fox. ABC said it will seek a preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan, according to a Bloomberg story. On 11/7 U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in LA rejected a motion for an injunction by Fox. Fox appealed.

The dispute over Dish’s ad-skipping technology, which broadcasters warn threatens their survival, is being played out in federal courts on both coasts.

Dish and the broadcast networks have also been at odds over The Hopper, which enables consumers to record prime-time programming from the four broadcast networks — ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox — and play the video back the next day with the commercials stripped out with AutoHop.

Dish sued ABC, CBS and NBC in New York in May seeking a judgment that AutoHop doesn’t violate network copyrights or contracts. Fox, CBS and NBC sued Dish in LA for copyright infringement and breach of contract on the same day.

In a separate matter, NBC has asked the New York judge to transfer the AutoHop case to LA. Swain ruled in July against NBC’s motion to transfer the case and NBC claims that the legal circumstances have changed since then.

“Having two district courts on separate coasts interpret the same contract would not serve the interests of judicial economy,” NBC said in the motion for the venue change.

Dish, in a reply brief to NBC’s motion, said, “NBC presents no grounds for the court to reconsider its prior ruling.”

See the Bloomberg story here


  1. So, it sounds like it will come down to which contract takes precedence … the one between the networks and the advertisers or the one between the networks and Dish. Sounds like Dish wants to reduce the networks’ income. Can the networks vacate their contracts with Dish and reduce theirs?

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