DISH Network Corporation (DISH - Analyst Report) received a favorable ruling against Sonicview usa, Inc. a distributor of Free-To-Air (FTA) satellite receivers in the U.S.
DISH Network managed to realize just $65 million in damages, or 20% of the $325 million it had claimed.
Sonicview Usa was held guilty under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because it was caught distributing satellite receivers to at least 17,500 households in the U.S., thus facilitating illegal viewing of DISH Network telecasts. Furthermore, the court ordered Sonicview to destroy the remaining satellite receivers remaining in its possession.
However, the verdict came as a shock to Sonicview as they believe that their FTA receivers built by a South Korean firm Vicxon Corp. are not fully equipped with software to break the signal.
Earlier, DISH Network integrated Auto Hop technology to their DVR device called Hopper. The new technology enabled users to skip commercials when watching recorded TV-shows.
Launch of such innovative service has landed them into court battles with CBS Corporation(CBS - Analyst Report), News Corp. (NWSA - Analyst Report) owned Fox network and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA - Analyst Report) owned NBC Universal. These major broadcasters believe that DISH Network has breached the copyright law by manipulating the TV shows for their own commercial interest. Last year, the company lost a long pending legal battle with TiVo Inc. (TIVO - Analyst Report) for violating their patent rights that resulted in a huge loss for the company.
Currently, DISH Network has a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock.
DISH Network Corporation was founded in 1980 and is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado. The company, together with its subsidiaries operates the DISH Network direct broadcast satellite (DBS) subscription television service in the U.S.