CEA Backs Dish, Hopper In Legal Battle
The Consumer Electronics Association, along with the Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Internet Association, is backing Dish Network in its legal fight with the broadcast networks over the legality of Dish's Hopper DVR service.
The broadcasters have sued Dish in federal court, alleging that the Hopper with its ability to record and skip all ads in network programming with the press of a button or two violates copyright law and breaches agreements that allow Dish to distribute network programming.
The support came in the form of a joint amicus brief filed Thursday.
"Almost 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Sony that personal, private noncommercial use of video programming is legal, and products that have significant legal uses may not be blocked by copyright owners," said CEA President Gary Shapiro in a prepared statement.
"Today, broadcasters seek to reverse this Supreme Court decision and kill what is essentially a new generation of VCR. The Hopper is more convenient to use and has more storage capacity, but has the same essential function — it allows viewers to time-shift and watch television programming at their convenience. The simple fact is, making television easier to watch is not against the law. It is simply pro-innovation and pro-consumer.