TV on your phone: Dish prevails in copyright fight with broadcasters
arstechnica.com reports that a judge has said that Dish Anywhere service is not Aereo. Fox “disappointed” with ruling.
A federal judge has upheld the right of the Dish Network satellite service to continue offering consumers the technology to watch television on devices like tablets and phones.
US District Judge Dolly Gee of Los Angeles found that the Dish Anywhere service does not infringe the copyrights of broadcasters. The Tuesday decision, [PDF] if it survives appeal, is significant because it allows consumers to watch television on non-television devices outside the home. What’s more, the litigation was seen as a first test case following the Supreme Court’s decision last year in which the high court essentially shuttered broadcast streaming service Aereo.
Fox had seized on the Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision in a bid to bolster its position. The high court held that Aereo was offering services akin to a cable company and therefore needed the broadcasters’ permission to retransmit their content to online viewers. Armed with that decision, Fox argued that the high court’s decision meant that the Dish Anywhere streaming platform should also be declared illegal because Fox did not consent to the retransmission of its content to mobile devices.
Judge Gee, however, ruled that Dish customers have a “fair use” right to watch television as they see fit, because they have legitimately obtained the programming and Dish pays transmission fees to obtain the content from Fox, which brought the long-running suit in 2012.