Autohop well positioned in legal battle

Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network has won a key legal argument in support of its ‘Autohop’ ad-skipping technology.

US District Judge Dolly Gee ruled last week that Autohop’s ability to record the primetime output of all four major US broadcast networks was “fair use” and reflected an older 1984 case which went to the Supreme Court and at the time referred to video-taping of broadcast content. The Judge declined to grant an injunction in favour of Fox Broadcasting.

The Judge, in a preliminary ruling, said that Autohop does not infringe a network’s copyright. Fox was the litigant against Dish in this action.  However, a full trial is scheduled for January, and the Judge said she was ‘on the fence’ as far as a final ruling was concerned.

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