NPR : News

CBS, NBC, Fox Battle Dish Network In Court Over Ad-Skipping DVR

Does Dish Network have the right to offer a commercial-free experience for its customers? Or does that infringe on broadcasters' copyrights?

As you might expect, CBS, NBC and Fox are not very happy at the prospect and filed suit yesterday against the TV provider to stop it from rolling out its "AutoHop" service.

The service, which works with a digital video recorder, automatically skips over commercials for programming from the four major broadcast networks. As the AP reports, Dish says the service has seen a "groundswell of support from consumers."

But, as CNN Money reports, CBS, NBC and Fox issued a "damning court filing" in which it "chastised Dish Network for its 'bootleg broadcast video on-demand service' that makes 'an unauthorized copy' of the entire primetime broadcast schedule. Fox said AutoHop 'will ultimately destroy the advertising-supported ecosystem.'"

Mashable notes that Dish defended itself by filing a countersuit asking a court for an all-clear to launch and also said in a statement that consumers "should be able to fairly choose for themselves what they do and do not want to watch"

In a statement Fox told Mashable that it "had no choice but to file suit."

Today, The Los Angeles Times' Jon Healey weighed in on the legal side of it all. Healey says that in order to keep "AutoHop" off the market, it "may have to persuade a federal judge to roll back the precedent the Supreme Court set in 1984 when it declared Sony's Betamax video recorder to be a legal product."

At issue here will be whether Dish is considered to be doing the recording or whether the customer is the one doing it. Healey says the service prompts, the customer is the one who decides to record.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
NPR

Collards And Canoodling: How Helen Gurley Brown Promoted Premarital Cooking

The legendary Cosmo editor, subject of two new biographies, knew sex sells – and food brings in ad money. She cannily combined them with features like "After Bed, What? (a light snack for an encore)."
WAMU 88.5

The Legality Of Restoring Virginia Voting Rights

Virginia's governor is bypassing the commonwealth's Supreme Court ruling and restoring felon voting rights individually. Kojo examines Terry McAuliffe's move with a legal expert.

NPR

Sun-Powered Airplane Completes Historic Trip Around The World

"This is not only a first in the history of aviation; it's before all a first in the history of energy," Swiss pilot Bertrand Piccard says. His plane flew more than 26,700 miles without using fuel.

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