Mouse seeks to stop satcaster's giveaway of Starz channel

A federal judge has denied The Walt Disney Co.’s request for a preliminary injunction to stop Dish Network from offering Starz channels to virtually all of its customers rather than charging them for the programming as a pay cabler.

Disney sued Dish in May, charging that the satellite operator breached agreements and infringed copyrights by offering Starz, which has shown such movies as “Alice in Wonderland,” “Toy Story 3″ and “Up.” Starz filed its own suit against Dish in Colorado.

U.S. District Court Judge George B. Daniels did not give a written explanation for his ruling, and it does not mean that the case is dismissed.

Dish Network has contended that its distribution of the channels as part of a special promotion is permitted under its contract with Starz.

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