Fox appeal for preliminary injunction against AutoHop denied


Fox Broadcasting struck out again in its efforts to secure a preliminary injunction to stop satellite broadcaster Dish Network from offering its commercial-skipping feature known as the AutoHop.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee for the Central District of California last November to reject Fox’s preliminary injunction request.

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Fox and other broadcasters have charged that Dish’s AutoHop violates their copyright. The device, launched last year, makes it easy for viewers to skip commercials. Rather than fast-forward through an ad as is the case with digital video recorders, the AutoHop basically zaps the commercials from recorded shows. The screen goes dark during a commercial break for a few seconds, and then the show resumes.


In a statement, Fox said it was “disappointed in the court’s ruling, even though the bar to secure a preliminary injunction is very high.” The company went on to say this is not a fight about technology but rather it is about an “unlicensed, unauthorized service that clearly infringes our copyrights and violates our contract.”

Fox, CBS and NBC have all filed lawsuits against Dish over the AutoHop.

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Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.