Innovation Asset Blog

Copyright claims stalk Dish Network's multiscreen ambitions

As traditional satellite and cable TV providers match upstarts like Aereo in extending the viewer experience in new directions, broadcast networks are increasingly concerned how their royalty management agreements will be impacted by emerging content distribution models. Most recently, Dish Network has drawn the ire of FOX Broadcasting with innovative features that allow subscribers to watch live and recorded TV programming via smartphone or tablet.

According to Bloomberg, the latest iteration of Dish's Hopper set-top box transmits live broadcast signals over the internet straight to subscribers' PCs and mobile devices, while also facilitating the transfer of recorded content stored on digital video recorders (DVRs) to iPads. FOX is demanding a preliminary injunction after alleging that the new options violate an existing licensing agreement between the two companies.

"Paying Dish for a satellite television subscription does not buy anyone the right to receive FOX's live broadcast signal over the internet or to make copies of FOX programs to watch 'on the go,' because Dish does not have the right to offer these services to its subscribers in the first place," the court filing stated, according to Bloomberg.

This is not the first time the two companies have disputed the viability of an innovative new service offering. Last year, FOX objected to Dish's Auto Hop commercial-skipping feature, with FOX ultimately unable to prove its copyright infringement case.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.