Disk Network can continue to offer Hopper service to its Fox TV customers. Judge Dolly Gee denied Fox’s request for a preliminary injunction on Wednesday. Fox wanted Dish to stop offering its new service which allows customers to automatically skip ads. Hopper also allows customers to automatically record all shows that air during prime time.
According to Judge Gee, Fox Broadcasting did not show sufficient damages to justify the preliminary injunction ahead of the company’s upcoming trial.
Fox says it will appeal the decision, noting:
“Dish is marketing and benefiting from an unauthorized service that illegally copies Fox’s valuable programming.”
In a counter statement, Dish’s general counsel, R. Stanton Dodge declared that it is “a consumer’s right to enjoy television as they want, when they want, including the reasonable right to skip commercials, if they so choose.”
Most comments from the ruling have been sealed ahead of the upcoming court case and in order to give both company’s time to redact trade secrets.
Fox is not alone in its fight against Dish Network; CBS chief Les Moonves has went so far as to call the Hopper technology “illegal” despite no laws that currently prevent the technology.
Dish Network stands behind its “freedom of choice” stance. The satellite provider believes customers should be able to “time-shift” their viewing to avoid commercials if that is what they want.
Traditional DVR services allow customers to fast forward through commercials but that process must be completed during each commercial cycle and is not handled automatically.