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Fox Sues Dish Over "Auto Hop" Ad-Skipping Feature 578

Posted by timothy
from the just-think-of-all-the-buggywhip-makers'-widows dept.
therealobsideus writes "Dish recently announced Auto Hop, giving its customers with the Hopper DVR the ability to 'hop' past commercial break on recordings. In response, Fox has filed suit against Dish in U.S. District Court, seeking to block the technology." The L.A. Times has coverage, too. Fox claims that giving viewers the ability to skip commercials on recorded television shows demonstrates the "clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem."
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Fox Sues Dish Over "Auto Hop" Ad-Skipping Feature

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  • Blah Blah Blah (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TWX (665546) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:18PM (#40105583)
    blah blah blah ... social contracts ... blah blah blah ... violating copyright ... blah blah blah

    Cry me a river. If they stopped violating the spirit of the rules that were meant to keep a certain amount of content in a given unit of time for a show by calling their ads for their other shows on the their networks content instead of ads, I might not be so upset. Right now there are so many ads that it seems like we get only fifteen minutes of actual programming in a half-hour show. If they will require the ads, I will simply cut back even further on my TV watching.

    As for copyright, I don't see any copyright issue. The user is choosing to ignore the portion they do not wish to see, if the commercials are even considered part of the same program by copyright. Which, last I thought, were not.
  • Next: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:20PM (#40105589)
    Browsers that getted sued for having ad blocking features.
  • Re:Shocking. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:20PM (#40105591)

    It's funny how the network that claims full support of a free market is filing a lawsuit against the products of a free market.

  • Re:Next: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jouassou (1854178) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:37PM (#40105737) Homepage
    What about the surviving console browsers, like links and lynx?
  • by rtb61 (674572) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:40PM (#40105765) Homepage

    Actually recording a broadcast and then editing it to remove undesirable content prior to displaying it and doing so upon a 'commercial' basis, is a violation of copyright. Right now it is possible to create software that can dip into content and swap out product placements and replace them with competitors products ie replace all the cans of coke and coke advertisements in the actual content and replace them with cans of pepsi and pepsi advertisements. It would likely be cheaper for companies to take content and edit in their product placements as they edit out competitors product placements and surreptitiously distribute the edited content than to pay for product placements.

  • by exomondo (1725132) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:48PM (#40105805)
    I don't see the legal issue with it, but certainly if everyone starts using such a service then advertisers will see no value in it and abandon free-to-air and it will die leaving only paid services. Personally I don't have a problem with that as i never watch free-to-air anyway but i know a lot of people would be unhappy about losing free-to-air.
  • by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @09:56PM (#40105839)

    Not watching commercials is NOT violation of copyright.

    Although...it may be a copyright violation to alter a content that you don't have the right on and was distributed by the others.

    To get around, I'd imagine that as long as the recorder stores everything (but allows the user to pick a watching mode in which the ads are skipped) should not be a copyright violation. It would be like a news agent selling a magazine, "enhanced" by himself with an extra list of bookmarks that allows the reader to skip over ads pages.

  • by PapayaSF (721268) on Thursday May 24, 2012 @11:20PM (#40106299) Journal
    Not only that, some VCR remotes had a button specifically designed to make it easy to skip commercials: each press skipped by forward 30 seconds.
  • by exomondo (1725132) on Friday May 25, 2012 @02:38AM (#40106985)
    Actually they don't, because they explicitly license the content on terms that allow for timeshift recording so you can fast-forward, they didn't have such terms in the content licenses for Dish.
  • Re:Next: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zippthorne (748122) on Friday May 25, 2012 @07:54AM (#40107927) Journal

    You pay the same as netflix, but get ads anyway? And still no Game of Thrones?

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