CCIA Calls Copyright Ruling A Victory For Innovators

BY CCIA Staff
September 19, 2013

Washington – Those who like to skip TV commercials and those making the devices that help them do it won a key court victory Wednesday. A New York southern District Judge dismissed an argument by ABC that DISH Network’s commercial hopping feature on the company’s DVR violated ABC’s copyright.

This victory comes on the heels of a federal appeals court ruling in July that blocked an attempt by Fox to cut off customer access to this same DISH commercial hopper. While DVRs have allowed customers to fast forward through commercials, the DISH device lets them skip the commercial altogether with the touch of a button.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association had filed an amicus brief in the Fox case, saying the plaintiffs’ “cramped view of fair use would hobble not just DVR technology, but also may threaten a wide range of new private copying technologies.” DISH is a member of CCIA.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:
“This latest copyright victory is important not just for DISH Networks, but for the Internet ecosystem. It’s encouraging to see the court is able to shut down attempts to abuse copyright law in a way that was never intended — to protect an old business model from the challenges of competition and innovation.”

“This whole issue is further proof that when incumbent companies try to trap customers and keep them from watching the content they want on the device they want, other innovators have room to enter the market to meet that customer demand. It will be important to watch for other attempts to use laws inappropriately to block innovation and new business models with DVRs as well other cloud computing innovations.”

For more background on this case, please see CCIA Public Policy & Regulatory Counsel Ali Sternburg’s blog post for DisCo on the issues behind an earlier lawsuit on the commercial hopping device:

http://www.project-disco.org/intellectual-property/072413-dish-hopper-win-is-a-victory-for-innovation-new-business-models/

Related Articles

CCIA Encouraged By First Meeting of EU-U.S. Trade & Technology Council

Sep 29, 2021

Washington —  E.U. and US diplomats met Wednesday for the first Trade & Technology Council meeting in Pittsburgh. The meeting sought to rebuild the transatlantic partnership and to address global trade challenges. The two sides released a joint statement announcing principles and cooperation areas on issues including investment screening, export controls, and AI. The statement…

Tech Association Response To House Bills Aimed At Handful of Tech Companies

Jun 11, 2021

Washington —  Democratic House Representatives on the House Judiciary Committee have introduced a series of interventionist bills with the aim of regulating a selected group of American digital service providers. These proposed regulations represent a shift from the market-oriented principles that have characterized U.S. economic policy. They would have a severe impact on U.S. economic…