CEA and Leading Tech Groups Supportthe Dish Hopper
Hopper Clearly Protected under the Supreme Court's "Betamax Doctrine"
ARLINGTON, Va. -- January 25, 2013
Last evening, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA^®), along with the
Computer and Communications Industry Association and the Internet Association,
filed a joint amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
in support of Dish Networks (“Dish”). Dish is being sued by broadcasters who
claim the “Hopper,” a digital video recorder with ad-skipping technology
violates copyright law as it allows recording and playback of programming
24-hours later without commercials.CEA believes that the Dish Hopper DVR is
fully covered by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Sony Corp. of America v.
Universal City Studios Inc. As the brief states, “[R]ecording for personal,
private viewing does not infringe; nor does declining to watch commercials. …
There is simply no precedent for finding consumer copyright liability where,
as here, recordings stay in the home, are made portable, or otherwise remain
under the control of the consumer who made them.”
The following statement can be attributed to CEA President and CEO Gary
“Almost 30 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Sony that personal,
private non-commercial use of video programming is legal, and products that
have significant legal uses may not be blocked by copyright owners. Today,
broadcasters seek to reverse this Supreme Court decision and kill what is
essentially a new generation of VCR.The Hopper is more convenient to use and
has more storage capacity, but has the same essential function – it allows
viewers to time-shift and watch television programming at their convenience.
The simple fact is, making television easier to watch is not against the law.
It is simply pro-innovation and pro-consumer.
“With this lawsuit, the Hopper joins the Betamax in the long list of products
that entrenched industries have insisted would harm them. In reality, the VCR,
the DVR, the SlingBox and other innovative consumer technology products have
expanded the market for content and presented ninja content innovators with
new business opportunities.
“The Hopper is an exciting new product that will make television viewing
easier and likely encourage viewers to watch more TV. The editors at respected
technology website CNET even named the most recent iteration of the
Hopper‘Best of CES’(although CNET's parent company, broadcaster CBS, forced
them to lie about and rescind the award). Broadcasters should try innovating
rather than litigating, and proactively offer their viewers the best and most
up-to-date television experience that includes enablingconsumers to view
their favorite programs when, where and how they want.”
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association
promoting growth in the $209 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More
than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including
legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education,
industry promotion, standards development and the fostering of business and
strategic relationships.CEA also owns and produces the International CES –
The Global Stage for Innovation. All profits from CES are reinvested into
CEA’s industry services.Find CEA online at www.CE.org,
www.DeclareInnovation.com and through social media:
March 8-10, 2013, Snowmass, CO
*CES on the Hill
April 16, 2013, Washington, D.C.
*Technology & Standards Spring Forum
May 20-24, 2013, Denver, CO
June 24-28, 2013, New York, NY
*2013 CEA Industry Forum
October 20-23, 2013, Los Angeles, CA
Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)
Laura Hubbard, 703-907-4326
Grace Ellis, 703-907-5292
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