Home Your IT Entertainment It is legal to skip advertisements – US court rules

A US court has upheld a ruling rejecting Fox’ s efforts to stop the use of ad-skipping technology. The decision concerned customers of the DISH satellite network, who were using the PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop features of DISH’s Hopper Whole-Home DVR (Digital Video Recorder).

The PrimeTime Anytime feature provides consumers with the ability to record shows from the four broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) and save them for up to eight days. The AutoHop feature provides the ability for consumers to play back them back commercial-free, starting the day after broadcast.

Yeah! No more RSI (repetitive skipping injury) or worn out remote buttons.

Advertising supported services have a place but there should be a way to easily access content without the need for annoying advertisements. Content providers need to re-examine revenue models to take into account multi-screen viewing and new viewing habits like being able to download an entire series so that it can be watched serially. For the most part content consumers will pay for ad free content.

Now that hopper technology has been tacitly approved, we will see two things happen. First, the advertisers will try to change their current data stream to disguise advertisements as part of the show being viewed (Hopper identifies data headers that denote advertisements), and every other DVR maker will offer ad skipping features.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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