Dish Network Corp. (DISH: Quote) said Thursday that it has filed suit against ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in federal court for a declaratory judgment on questions that have arisen related to the pay-TV provider's May 10 introduction of a user-enabled commercial skipping technology called AutoHop.
The suit, which was filed filed with the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, seeks a declaratory judgment that the AutoHop feature does not infringe any copyrights that could be claimed by the major networks, and that Dish, while providing the AutoHop feature, remains in compliance with its agreements with the networks.
Dish's monthly subscriber fees include significant "retransmission fees" that it pays to the major networks. Although the broadcasters have made much of their content available for free using sites such as Hulu, they have continued to demand substantial increases in their retransmission fees, Dish said.
In addition to increasing media reports of planned legal action against Dish, three of the networks -- CBS, Fox and NBC -- have rejected ads for Dish's Hopper Whole-Home DVR, the device that features the AutoHop function, Dish noted.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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