The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed a lower court's ruling on the legality of Dish Network's automatic ad-skipping device. This likely bolstered the company's stance in ongoing copyright infringement litigation with the FOX broadcasting network. The ruling might not bring proceedings between the two sides to a close, but the precedent set could already be enough to inspire media innovators to develop their own methods of bypassing traditional advertising embedded in content delivery protocols.
According to The New York Times, the parent companies of FOX, CBS and NBC sued Dish Network when it's Auto-Hop ad-skipping solution debuted last year. Dish soon countersued, and now FOX's requests for preliminary injunction have been twice dismissed.
"As copying and distributing technologies have gone digital, consumers, not the content owners, are in charge of where and how they experience content," Tulane University law professor Glynn Lunney told the news source. "It's hard to know where this sea change will lead us, but Dish's victory is one more sign of consumers' new authority over copyrighted works."
With Dish Network's Auto-Hop solution looking increasingly viable, industry analysts believe competitors could soon be scrambling to develop their own ad-skipping alternatives. But as University of Maryland Law School professor James Grimmelmann told The Washington Post, the more important development could be the potential path now paved for online innovators intent on circumventing interruptive advertising via solutions built for music and video streaming services.