Fox Loses Bid to Stop Hopper's Place-Shifting Technology
Fox says it is reviewing its options.
On Monday, a California judge made the latest ruling in the continuing legal saga over Dish's ad-skipping Hopper. This one pertains to Dish's Hopper with Sling, also known as "Dish Anywhere," which was introduced with much fanfare at CES in January.
Fox's latest motion for a preliminary injunction has been denied. The ruling hasn't been made public, but the parties are talking about what happened.
According to Dish general counsel R. Stanton Dodge, "Today’s decision is the fourth in a string of victories for consumers related to our Hopper® Whole-Home DVR platform. DISH is pleased that the Court has sided again with consumer choice and control by rejecting Fox’s efforts to deny our customers’ access to the DISH Anywhere and Hopper Transfers features."
Fox is undeterred.
"We have just received the ruling, and while the judge found that Fox could prevail at trial on the merits of the case, she did not grant our preliminary injunction," according to a statement from Fox. "We disagree that the harms caused by Dish’s infringing services are completely compensable by damages, and as a result we are looking at all options. We will file a response in due course."
The details of the ruling will be of interest because of its discussion of place-shifting technology, largely given a pass by broadcasters when first introduced by Sling last decade.
In its motion for an injunction , Fox argued, “Paying Dish for a satellite television subscription does not buy anyone the right to receive Fox’s live broadcast signal over the Internet or to make copies of Fox programs to watch 'on the go,' because Dish does not have the right to offer these services to its subscribers in the first place."
Today's ruling follows one from a New York judge last week to deny ABC's own motion  for a Hopper injunction. However, in that same opinion, a judge allowed CBS to continue to claim that Dish's alleged concealment of the Hopper is grounds for the rescission of its retransmission contract with Dish.
E-mail: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com