Dish Declaratory Action – Consumers Who Activate Ad-Skipping Cannot Trigger Dish Copyright Infringement

Orrick Herrington filed its declaratory judgment relief complaint on behalf of Dish Network yesterday, May 24, 2012, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Dish Ad Hopper Complaint). The complaint seeks to head off the now filed lawsuits of the major networks attempting to hold Dish liable for copyright infringement and breach of its broadcast agreements for its offering to its customers of the advertisement skipping service Ad Hopper that comes bundles with its DVR.

The complaint makes the following argument. Dish pays the networks hundreds of millions of dollars for broadcast and rebroadcast rights. Further, “DISH subsribers are already paying for their television service……DISH’s subscribers, private home viewers sitting in their living room, may fairly choose for themselves the content that they do and do not want to watch, and have paid for the right to do so (emphasis added).”

As one colleague writes from Barcelona on Twitter: @AFDIT2:57pm via TweetDeck “Apparently not watching TV adverts is illegal and copyright infringement.”

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