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Dish Gets Restraining Order Against TV Networks in Ad-Skipping Case

May 31, 2012 (6:52 am) GMT
A New York federal judge has ruled that FOX, CBS and NBC can't pursue their lawsuit in California against the satellite broadcaster until a hearing that is scheduled for July 2.

Dish Network has scored a win first in ad-skipping case against TV networks. On Wednesday, May 30, a federal court judge in New York issued a temporary restraining order which halts FOX and other TV broadcasters' lawsuits filed in California against the satellite television provider.

The temporary restraining order could be lifted at a hearing that is scheduled to take place on July 2. By the time, U.S. District Court Judge Laura Swain will have determined whether all of the court cases should be consolidated.

Dish Network has since expressed its joy over the victory. "We're pleased that the New York federal court has entered a TRO against Fox until the New York court decides whether the suits filed by FOX, CBS and NBC in California should be enjoined in favor of Dish's suit in New York," so the company's executive vp and general counsel, R. Stanton Dodge, stated. "Dish looks forward to presenting its case and prevailing on the merits."

Meanwhile, FOX responded to the ruling by saying in a statement, "We look forward to making our case against DISH for copyright infringement and breach of contract in court."

On Thursday, May 24, FOX, CBS and NBC filed their lawsuits against Dish separately in California. The TV networks claimed the satellite broadcaster's AutoHop service, which allows consumers to skip television ads, violates their copyright.

However, Dish had earlier filed its own lawsuit in New York, seeking a "declaratory judgment" that its AutoHop feature is legal. Playing down the TV networks' complaints, it said that "viewers have been skipping commercials since the advent of the remote control."

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