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Appeals court rejects Fox's attempt to use Aereo ruling against Dish

updated 04:21 pm EDT, Tue July 15, 2014

Broadcasting company tried to use Aereo ruling to force a preliminary injunction

Days after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of broadcasting companies in the Aereo case, Fox Broadcasting attempted to use the judgment as fuel in a case against Dish Network. Stating that there were large similarities between the devices, Fox believed the defense Dish raised no longer held up. In an opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the judges sitting on the case upheld the lower court's ruling against Fox, as the panel of judges failed to be convinced of the alleged connection.

The opinion, obtained by Ars Technica, points out that the no abuse of discretion was found to warrant granting Fox a preliminary injunction against Dish for the Hopper and its "Dish Anywhere" technology. Fox tried to argue that the technology could cause "irreparable harm" to the company before the larger case over the technology is settled.

Fox had argued that Dish "engages in virtually identical conduct" as Aereo, but also accused the lower court of making erroneous factual findings and legal errors. The appeals court addressed those claims in the opinion, finding that no such errors were made.

The judges held that the lower court was right in saying that contracts with Dish and other distributors supported the idea that Fox wouldn't see any harm if an injunction wasn't put in place. The appeals court also supported the lower court after Fox accused the irreparable harm forecasts as "speculative."

In a statement from the satellite company, Dish Executive Vice President and General Counsel R. Stanton Dodge said that the company was pleased with the results. It marks the fifth victory regarding the Hopper technology for the company.

"Dish is pleased that the court has sided again with consumer choice and control, by rejecting Fox's efforts to deny our customers access to the Dish Anywhere and Hopper Transfers features," said Dodge. "Last year, the Ninth Circuit also rejected Fox's attempt to block customers from using the AutoHop and PrimeTime Anytime features. We will continue to vigorously defend consumers' right to choice and control over their viewing experience."

With the opinion being handed down this week upholding the previous rulings, Fox may have to wait until the January 2015 court case against Dish for any further action.

by MacNN Staff



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