DISH celebrates Supreme Court win on Slingbox, ad-skipping features

DetailsEditor | 21 January 2015

In what is being called the first post-Aereo ruling, the US District Court, Central District of California, has released its summary judgment decision upholding consumer rights to use features of DISH's Hopper Whole-Home HD DVR.

Specifically, the decision upholds the rights of consumers to use Slingbox, AutoHop PrimeTime Anytime and Transfers technology. Slingbox technology has been available since 2005 and this action was the first to seek to enjoin it. With PrimeTime Anytime, users have the ability to record shows on each of the four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and save them for up to eight days. The AutoHop feature enables users to play back certain PrimeTime Anytime recordings commercial-free. The Transfers feature lets customers move or duplicate certain Hopper DVR recordings made by them to a smartphone or a tablet.

In July 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a lower court's September 2013 rejection of the Fox Broadcasting Company's efforts to bar DISH subscribers from using two place-shifting features.

"This decision is the sixth in a string of victories in federal courts on both coasts for the American consumer related to our Hopper Whole-Home DVR platform," commented R Stanton Dodge, executive vice president and general counsel for the US satellite firm. "We are proud to have stood by their side in this important fight over fundamental rights of consumer choice and control ... Consumers are the winners today, as the court sided with them on the key copyright issues in this case. This decision has far-reaching significance, because it is the first to apply the Supreme Court's opinion in Aereo to other technology."