LOS ANGELES Nov 7 A judge in Los Angeles has
rejected a bid by Fox Broadcasting Company to block Dish
Network's AutoHop feature that allows users to skip
commercials, Dish said on Wednesday.
TV networks worry that Dish's AutoHop feature will undermine
the advertising revenue that is their key source of funding to
produce shows. Fox had asked for a court injunction to block the
District Judge Dolly Gee rejected Fox's request, according
to a statement from Dish Network, the satellite television
provider run by billionaire Charles Ergen.
"Dish is gratified that the court has sided with consumer
choice and control," Dish Executive Vice President and General
Counsel Stanton Dodge said in a statement.
AutoHop lets users play back commercial-free versions of
certain primetime shows they record from ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox.
Fox, a unit of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, said it
will appeal the ruling. "Dish is marketing and benefiting from
an unauthorized (video on demand) service that illegally copies
Fox's valuable programming," the company said.
Fox also said it won a partial victory because the court
"found the copies Dish makes for its AutoHop service constitute
copyright infringement." Dish responded that customers using the
service cannot be liable for copyright infringement.
The ruling remains under seal to give both sides time to
remove confidential trade information, Dish said.