Dish Defends Fox’s Bid To Block New Hopper

By Greg Tarr On Mar 18 2013 - 9:55am

Los Angeles — Dish Network Friday slapped back at Fox Network’s bid for an injunction against the satellite-TV company’s newest Hopper DVR.

The broadcaster alleges the device violates copyright laws and retransmission agreements by using Sling technology for new Dish Anywhere and Hopper Transfers features.

Dish’s legal defense, which was filed in Los Angeles District Court, pointed out that Fox waited seven years to file a motion against the long-used Slingbox technology.

“But what did Fox actually do when Dish’s predecessor [Sling Media] first introduced the underlying technologies seven years ago in 2005? Nothing. Fox slept while Dish and its competitors rolled out devices aimed at ‘space shifting’ — the ability to get away from the living room television and watch in other places,” Dish’s defense motion states.

 Fox previously challenged Dish Network’s AutoHop extra feature, which was added to a Prime Time Anytime system to all users to opt to automatically skip over recorded commercials in broadcast TV programming that the Hopper automatically records for willing viewers each night.

Fox was rebuffed by the court in its Auto Hop challenge, but returned with a new attempt to stop a second-generation version of the Hopper whole-home DVR earlier this year.

Dish’s newest device adds Sling features that allow viewers to stream recordings from their home DVR to their iPads and iPhones on the go.

 Fox amended the original complaint, claiming the additional offerings violate retransmission agreements and infringe their copyrights.

 Dish argued that Fox didn’t bother to bring a lawsuit against Sling Media, developer of the technology that was later acquired by Dish Network, when it was introduced in the form of an external add-on box and software.

And Dish said Sling and Dish announced a similar adaptation of the technology in an earlier DVR announced in 2010.

In addition, Dish’s defense action stated, “Fox News declared Sling a ‘legitimate’ way to ‘watch any game’ and repeatedly promoted Sling products — including in its January 2013 run-up to the Super Bowl.”

Dish also pointed out that it empowers consumers to make the choice of transmitting the content privately to themselves on the go.

Dish contended that Fox’s “knowing delay” in bringing the new challenge should prevent any preliminary injunctions against the newest Hopper device.

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