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First off today, Dominic Patten at Deadline Hollywood reports that NBCUniversal and Dish Network have settled their long-running dispute over Dish’s AutoHop DVR, which automatically skips commercials in some programming, and its PrimeTime Anytime product, which lets users view prime time programming ad-free.
The lawsuit was first filed by NBC, Fox, CBS and ABC in 2012 as they claimed that AutoHop was both a violation of their copyrights and carriage deals that they had signed with Dish. On the copyright issue, Dish had largely been victorious in previous court rulings but the issue about the carriage deals had dragged on.
Now, in a press release, NBCU and Dish have said that they have settled the dispute between them. The likely reason is that the carriage deal is coming up for renewal and both sides found a way to resolve their differences. The other networks involved have previously settled their litigation, meaning that this is an end to the entire case.
Next up today, Wendy Davis at MediaPost reports that Fox News and TVEyes have both made their case to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in their lawsuit, both trying to portray TVEyes’ service in a light most favorable to them.
TVEyes is a media “clipping” service that allows its subscribers to search through and find clips and media from various television channels, including Fox News, and then download, embed or otherwise stream them. Fox News, which earns revenue from licensing its content to clipping services, views this as a copyright infringement.
However, the lower court issued a mixed ruling saying that some of the features were infringing while others are not. Both sides have appealed to the Second Circuit, which recently ruled, in a separate case, that Google Book Search was a fair use. As such, both sides attempted to compare and contrast TVEyes to Google Book Search, with TVEyes pointing out perceived similarities and Fox News, predictably, pointing out perceived differences.
Finally today, Matt Diehl at Rolling Stone reports that the Stairway to Heaven case is moving forward, with the plaintiffs resting their case following some tense testimony.
The case was filed by Michael Skidmore, who is the trustee of the estate for Randy Wolfe, the writer of the song Taurus by his band Spirit. Skidmore sued Led Zeppelin claiming that their hit song Stairway to Heaven was an infringement of Taurus, the case is now before a jury and in the fourth day of its trial.
All of the surviving members of the band, including Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones have taken the stand. Jones, in his testimony, contradicted a previous story about the development of Stairway to Heaven, which was supposedly written by Page and Plant in Wales. However, the defense was able to show how dissimilar the two songs were at one point and how many of the alleged similarities have been around in songs for centuries.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.