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Tech Groups Back Hopper

In an amicus (friend of the court) brief filed on Thursday,
the Consumer Electronics Association, Computer and Communications Industry
Association and Internet Association took Dish's side in the lawsuit filed by
broadcasters against the ad-skipping DVR.

The groups said that the Hopper was protected under the Supreme
Court's Betamax decision.

"[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," they argue.

"The Hopper is an exciting new product that will make
television viewing easier and likely encourage viewers to watch more TV,"
said CEA president Gary Shapiro. "The editors at respected technology
website CNET even named the most recent iteration of the Hopper 'Best of CES.'...Broadcasters
should try innovating rather than litigating, and proactively offer their
viewers the best and most up-to-date television experience that includes
enabling consumers to view their favorite programs when, where and how they

CEA's support is no surprise. CEA has already given the show
an award. Last June, it gave the Hopper a Best of Show award at an event in New
York last June, including citing the AutoHopper ad-skipping function for
providing "consumer choice and control of TV viewing."

Broadcasters argue that the technology is a threat to their
business model and violatescopyrights and contracts.