Dish's ad skipping case against broadcasters to continue in court

MUMBAI: US pay-television company Dish has not been able to persuade a federal judge in New York to stop broadcast networks including Fox from pursuing lawsuits in California over a Dish service allowing customers to watch channels and avoid ads.

US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain in Manhattan granted a motion by Fox to dismiss Dish‘s copyright and contract claims in her court over the ‘Auto Hop‘ feature, saying that they should be addressed in Los Angeles.

Swain noted that Dish’s filing was motivated by a fear of imminent legal action by the networks and was, thus, improperly anticipatory.

She said that it was inappropriate to consolidate the cases in New York because three of the sets of parties claiming injury have chosen another forum for their claims.

Dish‘s service, which works with a digital video recorder, automatically skips over commercials for programming from the four major broadcast networks. Fox has argued that AutoHop will ultimately destroy the advertising-supported ecosystem.

Fox said, "We are pleased that the court has determined that Fox, as the true victim and plaintiff here, should have the right to proceed in its chosen forum in the 9th Circuit. Now we move on to the real issue at hand—demonstrating that Dish Network has created and marketed a product with the clear goal of breaching its license with Fox, violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television business, which damages not only FOX and the other major networks, but also the hundreds of local stations around the country. We look forward to trying and winning the case on its merits."

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