And think how long it took to resolve the Tivo case....
The broadcasters are a little more powerful than Tivo ... or at least they were. Probably a better direct comparison is the broadcaster's suit against DISH in the Distants case.
If one were to use the Tivo case my first question would be "who won?". Other than the lawyers, Tivo ended up with some money, DISH removed Tivo technology once it was deemed infringing (please put it back) and other than DVR performance issues and people who follow the industry, customers didn't notice.
The Distants case led to new federal law ALLOWING what DISH and DirecTV wanted to do ... a victory for satellite broadcasters. DISH's eventual loss came from not following the new federal law and allowing customers to receive distants who were not qualified. Even that has been repaired through additional changes in federal law.
It will be a long drawn out battle ... but I do not expect it to be solved in the courts. I expect it to be solved at the negotiating table when retransmission consent is renewed for each local station. Stations demanding that AutoHOP be disabled on their station as a term of carriage.
Broadcasters have already proven that they don't care about satellite viewers ... and they are willing to sacrifice the viewership during contract disputes. They assume that their viewers want the local channel more than they want satellite - and in some ways that is true. But it needs to be more of a partnership.
Perhaps a local non-skipable ad at the beginning of the program could "pay" for the use of AutoHOP on each channel? "This AutoHOP program is brought to you with limited commercial interruptions by ... local sponsor." Or a national sponsor with the "per impression" money going to the local station.
Something will be worked out.