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Today, Public Knowledge filed an amicus brief in Fox Broadcasting v. DISH. In this case, Fox sued DISH over Hopper, a device that allows consumers to record programming and play it back later commercial-free, claiming that this constitutes copyright infringement. Public Knowledge decided to participate in this case to protect the home recording and fair use rights of television viewers.
The brief is linked here.
The following statement can be attributed to John Bergmayer, Senior Staff Attorney for Public Knowledge:
"Fox has argued that skipping commercials ought to be against the law. But viewers have the same rights today as they did in 1984, when the Supreme Court said that recording programs with a VCR is a 'fair use' of copyrighted content. Bogus copyright arguments should not stand in the way of viewer's long-settled rights, nor should it prevent companies like DISH from selling improved DVRs. Put simply, copyright does not give Fox the right to control how viewers watch TV.
"Fox might like to sell 'on-demand' content to viewers instead of allowing them to exercise their home recording rights. But they should compete in the marketplace, instead of trying to use the law to suppress a competitor."