Fox may have been able to get the courts to knock out Aereo's streaming TV service. But Dish Network is proving to be a decidedly formidable adversary.
On Monday, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal turned down Fox's request for a preliminary injunction that would have put a stop to Dish's Hopper Transfers and Dish Anywhere features. The former lets Dish subscribers move recorded programs from a Hopper with Sling DVR for offline viewing on a mobile device while the latter allows users to watch live TV and recorded shows over an Internet connection. Fox says that's unauthorized use of its content — an argument that a U.S. district judge rejected last year when Fox tried to get Dish Anywhere shut down. Monday's ruling by the appeals court affirms that decision.
Prior to Monday's ruling, Fox had hoped that the recent Supreme Court decision that Aereo violated copyright laws by streaming live broadcast television to other devices without paying any fees to networks might sway opinion in its favor. Indeed, Fox cited the Aereo case in recent filings with the appeals court, claiming that Dish "engages in virtually identical conduct." (Dish counters that it pays retransmission fees to Fox and that its hardware is in its customers homes, unlike Aereo's cloud-based approach.) The appeals court was apparently unmoved by Fox's Aereo comparison, not even referencing it in the four-page ruling.
Monday's appeals court ruling is just the latest round in the legal contretemps involving Fox and Dish Network. The full case goes to trial next January.
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