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ABC appeals against DISH “Hopper” ruling

ABC and Disney Enterprises have filed a brief with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in the US, resuming their legal attack on DISH Network’s DVR service, ‘Hopper’, which allows viewers to record programmes and skip advertisements.

The appeal contends that US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain failed to grasp both copyright law in her original ruling earlier this year that it was consumers who were responsible for copying broadcasts rather than DISH Network. ABC assert that, through its practical control over the copying and recording process, it is Dish Network, rather than the consumer, who control the process.

“In this copyright and breach of contract action, ABC seeks to halt DISH’s ongoing copying of ABC’s entire lineup of primetime programming for on-demand, commercial-free playback. This massive copying effort not only targets the advertising that generates revenue through normal DVR viewing; it also takes aim at the many platforms on which ABC authorizes the sale of on-demand and commercial-free versions of its programming,” reads the brief (which can be read here). “In short, at the same time that ABC has carefully constructed a distribution strategy to offer viewers nearly every on-demand and commercial-free viewing option that modern technology permits, DISH has set out to undermine each element of that strategy”.

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