It has not been easy for Dish Network and their Hopper DVR. When the original device was launched, everyone sued them over copyright infringement. Now, while it is surely a unique device in modern times, it is not the first DVR to skip commercials. Does anyone remember the original TiVo DVRs? Why else would people have paid that much per month for a DVR when the cable companies were giving them away free?
Their new model has had no less controversy. Announced at CES this year, it was initially awarded Best in Show for the Best of CES Awards, presented by Cnet. Because of the before mentioned lawsuit and Cnet's parent company, CBS, and their rule about being objective about companies they are actively in legal action with, Cnet was forced to drop the award. When CEA, who runs the International CES, found out about this, they removed Cnet as the official partner for the awards going forward and reinstated Dish as a co-winner of the award.
Now, FOX has decided to one-up their media conspirators and has filed a new suit against Dish and the Hopper with Sling. The newest complaint is about the Sling feature, which allows users to transfer content from the DVR to other devices, like tablets, for watching both online and offline. While it seems no different from recording a show on a videocassette and playing it at someone else's house, FOX claims that it is piracy. They have asked a federal judge to prevent Dish from allowing customers to transfer FOX content to their smartphones and tablets.
My guess is this will go about as well as the last time FOX asked for an injunction against the Hopper: not well. Last November they lost their attempt to prevent AutoHop, the commercial skipping feature, on FOX programs, and is currently sitting in appeals. This will probably go the same way, with a loss and an unending appeal. This request is a little closer to realistic, it still seems like it stands no chance in the courts. Thankfully.read more...