- IBCAP members are becoming increasingly active in protecting their copyrights and are filing lawsuits against unauthorized IPTV services and retailers selling those services
- Since 2014, IBCAP members have obtained judgments or settlements against IPTV box manufacturers, providers, and retailers in excess of $100 Million
- Unauthorized IPTV providers and their retailers and internet providers have been ordered to cease promoting, selling, distributing, or supporting IPTV services found to infringe copyrights
- ISP’s, CDN’s, and domain name providers have complied with court orders and unauthorized IPTV services have been disrupted or shut down entirely
Retailers who continue selling IPTV boxes that provide unauthorized content may be found in contempt of court
- Retailers who sell IPTV boxes that provide unauthorized content are being held liable for significant damages
On March 17, 2017, a federal court in Texas ordered Lool Tech Co., Limited and Shenzhen Bilinren Technology Co., LTD., d/b/a Shenzhen Lool Tech Co., Ltd., providers and retailers of the Lool (Arabic) IPTV box, to pay $1,050,000 and cease distributing, providing, and promoting the Lool box for as long as they are violating the plaintiff’s copyrights aired on channels including MBC and Al Jazeera. The court order is being enforced against the Lool defendants and retailers who continue to sell Lool IPTV boxes. In addition, DISH has seized the loolbox.com and loolbox.net domain names that the defendants previously used to promote and sell Lool IPTV boxes.
TV Net Solutions, LLC and its owner Mohammad Mustafa, a retailer of an Arabic language IPTV box, was ordered by a federal court in Florida on June 4, 2014 to cease sales of the TV Net Solutions IPTV service and agreed to pay $5,000,000 in settlement and was ordered to cease violating the copyrights in over 20 Arabic language channels.
On January 24, 2017, a federal court in Virginia ordered Naeem Butt and Imran Butt, providers and retailers of the Shava (South Asian) and Cres (Arabic) IPTV boxes, to pay $25,650,000 for violating the plaintiffs’ copyrights aired on channels including Sony Entertainment, Star Plus, Aapka Colors, Zee TV, ARY Digital, B4U, Geo TV, Channel-I, ATN Bangla, MBC, Al Jazeera, Iqraa and Murr TV. Retailers Nadeem Butt and Shava IPTV Network LLC previously consented to judgment against them for $125,000. The court order is being enforced against the Shava defendants and retailers who continue to sell Shava and Cres IPTV boxes.
Chinese broadcasters CCTV and TVB along with DISH Network filed suit against the manufacturers of the TVpad IPTV box and several TVpad retailers. On April 4, 2016, the United States Court for the Central District of California enjoined two manufacturers from continuing to sell the TVpad or any other device that provides the plaintiffs’ copyrighted video content. The court also awarded over $55,000,000 in damages against these manufacturers.
Asha Media Group Inc. d/b/a TVpad.com, a TVpad retailer, was ordered by a federal court in California on November 16, 2016 to pay $9,154,811.
Other retailers in the TVpad lawsuit settled for significant sums:
- Texas based retailers NewTVpad Ltd. Co and Liangzhong Zhou ($750,000)
- California based retailer Honghui Chen d/b/a e-Digital ($1,250,000)
- California based retailers Club TVpad and Bennett Wong ($1,500,000)
Another TVpad retailer, Amit Bhalla, was forced to file for bankruptcy because of the risk of liability in the lawsuit. Mr. Bhalla is currently facing the possibility that his liability will not be discharged in the bankruptcy, and if so, he may be personally liable for several million dollars.