FOX challenges DISH Anywhere, citing Aereo precedent
After relishing in the failure of Aereo to win favour in the US Supreme Court, FOX is now challenging DISH Network's Slingbox-based offering by claiming the two are the same thing.
Aereo provided local affiliate feeds via the Internet for $8 per month, but failed to pay retransmission feeds. DISH uses the Slingbox technology to give its satellite subscribers access to content already stored on their DVRs from essentially anywhere. Stone said that both services gave consumers digital access to content without permission.
"DISH, which engages in virtually identical conduct when it streams FOX's programming to DISH subscribers over the Internet – albeit also in violation of an express contractual prohibition – has repeatedly raised the same defence as Aereo which have now been rejected by the Supreme Court," FOX lawyer Richard Stone wrote in a letter to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, ahead of oral arguments this week.
The network wants to reverse a lower court ruling in which a federal judge refused to grant a preliminary injunction against the Dish Anywhere service. In the oral arguments before the court, Stone said that his company's broadcast network and affiliated stations are losing revenue and audience share for the same reasons that it was suffering from Aereo's copyright infringement. Unlike the online streamer however, DISH licenses content and pays significant fees to FOX for the right to offer its subscribers DVR access to copyrighted shows.
And indeed, the court seemed skeptical. "The Supreme Court has all sorts of caveats about how this is about Aereo and nothing else," said Judge Marsha Berzon. "I don't think you can stand there and say it's the same thing."