Fox files suit against Dish for AutoHop

Dish Network's commercial-skipping feature AutoHop (Dish Network / May 24, 201

So if your first thought was: “How can they get away with that?” when you saw the Dish commercial skip announcement, it seems the answer is going to be: “Not easily”.

We were given no choice but to file suit against one of our largest distributors, Dish Network, because of their surprising move to market a product with the clear goal of violating copyrights and destroying the fundamental underpinnings of the broadcast television ecosystem.

The LA Times

Perhaps all the Comskip developers will soon need to sublease some office space from Slysoft.  ๐Ÿ™‚

  • It would be difficult to go

    It would be difficult to go after Comskip (and software like it) since all it does is index a file on your PC ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I agree.ย  Indexing a file to

    I agree.  Indexing a file to mark the commercials isn’t interfering with the copyright, but this auto-hop feature sounds like it it actualy cuts them out of the recording or blanks the screen to block them.  That is not the orignal program broadcast so the networks might have a vailid argument.

    • It seems odd that they would

      It seems odd that they would make the effort to edit the files in place. Using an approach like we do in the HTPC space (EDL + position monitoring) makes a lot more sense given the complexity of file editing vs. simple transport automation.

      To me, this seems more tantrum than reality. Dish is simply automating a process that users can (and probably are) handle themselves.

      • babgvant wrote:To me, this

        [quote=babgvant]

        To me, this seems more tantrum than reality. Dish is simply automating a process that users can (and probably are) handle themselves.

        [/quote]

        Don’t underestimate the lazy factor. If not performed automatically, many people would not bother with skipping commercials. A lot of people need lazy to be automated ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Aaron Ledger wrote:A lot of

          [quote=Aaron Ledger]

          A lot of people need lazy to be automated ๐Ÿ˜‰

          [/quote]

          hmm… that sounds oddly familiar ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • I talked with Andrew shortly

    I talked with Andrew shortly after this was announced and couldn’t believe the studios were on board then. Will be interesting to see how it pans out. 

  • This is why we can’t have

    This is why we can’t have nice things. The studios and Hollywood want to hold back consumer focused innovation as much as possible.

  • As much as we’d all like to

    As much as we’d all like to see commercials disappear altogether, it would probably mean the end of free broadcast TV and subscriber costs for cable channels would go through the roof.  Commercials are a necessary evil that keeps consumer costs for TV low.  I’m amazed that Dish would include something like this in their receivers and not expect serious repercussions from the studios.  While it may be innovative for consumers, it’s the same type of forward thinking that killed ReplayTV.  I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Dish pull this back off the market.

  • The issue is, established

    The issue is, established players don’t like it when technology starts to change their business model (see the Music industry for more info ๐Ÿ™‚    What’s interesting about this case is that the issue being forced higher up the food chain by someone who can actually defend their position, unlike Napster many years ago.  Not that Napster’s position was very defensible at the time, but it led to where we are today.     I suspect a lot of people on this site pay over $1000/yr to their TV provider.   It’s understandable that some folks would expect not to see commercials for that cost.

    The model I’m waiting for is the one where you get to pay on a per-show or even per-commercial if you want to skip them.   Something like 5 cents per commercial, or 99 cents for the entire show.   That way you can actually kick back money to the advertiser if their paid-for spot isn’t seen.   It would be an interesting precedent if the end settlement is simply that Dish pays back the advertiser each time a commercial is skipped.