Judge denies Fox injunction on AutoHop

But ruling acknowledges copyright violation

A U.S. District Court Judge denied Wednesday a request from Fox for a preliminary injunction against Dish Network over its controversial DVR technology, known as AutoHop.

But Fox, which plans to appeal the ruling, scored a partial victory because the court agreed Dish was in violation of its carriage agreement on the grounds of copyright infringment.

Fox issued a statement following the ruling:

“We are gratified the court found the copies Dish makes for its AutoHop service constitute copyright infringement and breach the parties’ contract. We are disappointed the court erred in finding that Fox’s damages were not suitable for a preliminary injunction.”

Dish also issued a statement from its executive VP and general counsel R. Stanton Dodge. “Today’s ruling is a victory for common sense and customer choice,” he said. “Dish is gratified that the court has sided with consumer choice and control by rejecting Fox’s efforts to deny our customers access to PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop.”

The dispute between the companies centers on AutoHop, a feature on Dish’s Hopper DVR service that allows viewers to skip commercials at the click of a button from broadcast content recorded in the primetime the previous evening. CBS and NBC have also filed suit against Dish.

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