A Los Angeles federal judge will hear arguments next month in a lawsuit brought by Fox Broadcasting, which is attempting to block Dish Network subscribers from viewing the network’s programs on smartphones and tablets via the latest version of the Hopper digital video recorder.
Fox filed papers in Los Angeles seeking a preliminary injunction to disable the feature of Dish’s new Hopper DVR that re-transmits live broadcast signals over the Internet to subscribers’ mobile devices.
The feature also allows Dish subscribers to copy recorded programs from the DVR on iPads, according to the complaint.
Fox contends the technology breaches its contract with Dish and infringes its copyright.
“With its latest motion, Fox continues its war against how Americans watch TV,” Dish spokesman John Hall said. “Dish has long argued consumers have the right to privately watch shows anywhere, anytime, and it looks forward to continuing its fight on behalf of customer choice and control.”
According to the filing, “Fox granted Dish a limited right to retransmit Fox’s signal over its satellite system, and Dish grants its subscribers the limited right to watch the programs retransmitted by Dish in their private homes. That is all.”
U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee set a hearing for March 22 in Los Angeles federal court.
The Hopper previously stirred controversy due to its “AutoHop” feature, which allows subscribers to record programs without commercials.
Gee rejected Fox’s attempt to block the feature last year, but the broadcaster is appealing the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.