Sometimes common sense takes a back seat to legal maneuvering.
The image you see above is a typical water saver device of the sort installed in every new shower head. The installation instructions generally say something like "do not remove the water flow regulator if local ordinances require low-flow devices." Of course, the regulator comes out easily with a pair of pliers and most people do take them out because the water police rarely come out to check.
If the plumbing industry really wanted to sell low-flow shower heads they would cast them all in one piece of brass or plastic. By making the piece removable, they collectively say, "hey, we want to help people save water. It's not our fault if they modify our parts." The same can be said for several other industries that give a "wink wink" to safety or security issues while giving explicit instructions on how to defeat any built-in safeguards.
What does this have to do with Auto Hop? DISH made a few tweaks in its Hopper software aimed at bolstering its case in court. Auto Hop, the automatic commercial-skipping feature on DISH's Hopper DVR, is the subject on multiple lawsuits from broadcast networks on both the east and west coasts.
DISH has always contended that Auto Hop is about giving customers what they want in a DVR... the ability to avoid commercials. The networks say that it's illegal to modify content automatically.
It's possible that DISH agrees. The latest changes to the Hopper software, according to Variety.com, make Auto Hop just a little less automatic, and while DISH contends that the changes were made to enhance customer choice (and that does seem to be true as well) there's no question that the lawyers will be pleased at having a stronger argument in court. Check out the changes:
- First, subscribers now have the ability to choose which channels to record among the Big Four networks, whereas previously they were all automatically recorded.
- Second, subs can choose to delete programming off the hard drive at a time of their choosing, as opposed to accepting a default-delete date.
- A third upgrade switches the cursor default from "yes" to "no" when presented with the option to skip ads.
We'll see if that's enough to please the courts.