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Dish derides Fox’s copyright argument

Co. defends legality of Slingbox

Dish Network is pushing back against Fox’s recent claim that its Hopper DVR violates copyright because it uses Slingbox technology, noting in a court filing late on Friday that the network waited seven years to challenge the technology.

“Fox slept while Dish and its competitors rolled out devices aimed at ‘space shifting’ — the ability to get away from the living room television and watch in other places,” Dish said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

Broadcasters are challenging Dish’s AutoHop feature, introduced last year, which offers entire nights worth of primetime content with commercials automatically skipped. When Dish offered new Sling features that added broadcast streams on the go, Fox amended its original complaint against Dish, claiming the additional offerings violate retransmission agreements and infringe on their copyrights.

But Dish says Fox didn’t object when it previously offered Sling services, pointing to a 2010 joint press release in which the companies touted a Dish DVR “with built-in Sling functionality.” Dish also notes that the law firm repping Fox in its suit against Aereo told an appellate court judge in November that Sling “would not be a public performance.” “Fox News declared Sling a ‘legitimate’ way to ‘watch any game’ and repeatedly promoted Sling products — including in its January 2013 run-up to the Super Bowl.”

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