Via a motion filed 7/16, Dish Network is demanding a New York jury trial in its dispute with ABC over its AutoHop ad-skipping technology, reports The Wrap. U.S. District Judge Laura Swain in Manhattan ordered (7/9) in favor of CBS, NBC and Fox that the dispute over AutoHop would be heard in California. The three nets sued Dish in California on 5/24, the same day Dish sued them and ABC in New York. New York was believed to be a more favorable location for Dish because of the 2008 ruling there that stated pay-TV providers may offer DVR services to their customers without being held liable for copyright infringement.
The judge’s ruling did permit the portions of the suit involving ABC to remain in New York. The reason was that ABC didn’t sue Dish in California. Instead, it filed a counter-claim against Dish in New York.
In the 7/16 filing, Dish also denied several claims by ABC that it had violated its copyrights by creating, in essence, an “unauthorized, commercial-free, on-demand service.” It responded to about three dozen claims from ABC with: “Dish denies the allegations,” said The Wrap story.
AutoHop enables subscribers to black out ads on programs they’ve saved on their DVRs. When activated, AutoHop turns the screen dark when a commercial break arrives, then returns to the show a few seconds later. The AutoHop, launched in May, is only available for shows airing on CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox–not on cable channels.