News


IBCAP Applauds Successful Copyright and Trademark Infringement Lawsuits

International Broadcasters and DISH Win Lawsuits Against Shava TV, Cres IPTV, and Lool IPTV

April 20, 2017 — The International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy  (IBCAP) congratulated a number of its members for winning a lawsuit against Imran Butt and Naeem Butt, who both operated the Shava TV and Cres IPTV over-the-top streaming services and sold IPTV boxes that retransmitted television channels and used programmer logos without permission. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to stop the unauthorized digital streaming and distribution of South Asian and Arabic television channels in the United States. IBCAP members who filed the lawsuit sought to protect their copyrights in channels such as Sony Entertainment, Star Plus, Aapka Colors, Zee TV, ARY Digital, B4U, Geo TV, Channel-I, ATN Bangla, MBC, Al Jazeera, Iqraa and Murr TV.  In addition to an injunction prohibiting the continued infringement of plaintiffs’ rights in their copyrights and trademarks, the court also awarded $25,650,000 in damages against Imran Butt and Naeem Butt.  IBCAP also applauded enforcement of the order against retailers and other sellers of the Shava TV and Cres IPTV services.

A similar judgment was reached last month when the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ruled that the owners of the Lool IPTV service unlawfully streamed international television channels to users in the United States. The court also found that Lool violated exclusive rights by encouraging the use of Lool IPTV boxes to share pirated content between users. This decision also impacts dealers who promote or sell the Lool devices and the ISPs that support the service, and enforcement of the order will work to end use of the Lool IPTV service in the United States.

“The outcome of these lawsuits is another important message that unlawful transmissions of copyrighted content will not be tolerated,” said Chris Kuelling, Executive Director of IBCAP, a coalition formed to prevent the unauthorized distribution of international television content. “These lawsuits once again demonstrate that content owners can successfully fight against digital streaming piracy to protect customers from unauthorized services,” Kuelling concluded.

A copy of the filing against the Shava and Cres IPTV services in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia can be found here.

A copy of the filing against the Lool IPTV service in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas can be found here.


Piracy Dealt Another Blow as Court Rules Against Providers of Shava and Cres Streaming TV Services

In another blow to peddlers of illicit video piracy services, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled to shut down unauthorized digital streaming and distribution by the providers of the Shava and Cres TV set-top boxes and awarded more than $25 million in damages.

“This decision reinforces the fact that services streaming video without copyright authorization are blatant infringers and will be held accountable by the courts,” said Alex Fonoroff, senior corporate counsel at DISH. “Enforcement efforts are underway, and as ISPs terminate service to the Shava and Cres networks we expect to see piracy on these boxes come to an end.”

“Perpetrators of pirate TV services think they can get away with it, but as this ruling proves, it’s only a matter of time before the law puts an end to illegal streaming schemes,” said Jaideep Janakiram, SVP International Business- Head of the Americas at Sony, whose subsidiary MSM Asia Ltd. was a plaintiff in the case. “The defendants deceived customers by illegally using our broadcast feed and logo, making the service look legitimate. Dealers and consumers must educate themselves on legal alternatives, otherwise, they will continue to waste their money on products that will become worthless.”

Filed in June 2015, the lawsuit brought claims for copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition by the makers of the Shava TV and Cres IPTV devices, which retransmitted Arabic and South Asian entertainment. The defendants profited by capturing live broadcast signals of protected channels, then transcoding those signals for Internet streaming. They then retransmitted the channels using a peer-to-peer network, in which users of the box inadvertently send content to other users.

In addition to the unauthorized transmission of video content, the providers of the Shava and Cres streaming services also unlawfully used logos and trademarks of the plaintiffs, giving the false impression that the service was legitimate.

The court awarded a total of $25,650,000 in damages to plaintiffs for unauthorized distribution of copyrighted works. Plaintiffs in the case include DISH Network L.L.C., Al Jazeera Media Network, Asia TV USA Ltd., B4U U.S., Inc., GEO USA LLC, Impress Telefilm, Inc., MBC FZ LLC, MSM Asia Ltd., Soundview Broadcasting LLC, Soundview ATN LLC, Star India Private Ltd. and Viacom18 Media Private Limited.

Following the ruling, the plaintiffs are working with ISPs, CDN’s and others to enforce the injunction.

A copy of the judgement can be found here, and the original complaint can be found here.


Court Blocks Lool IPTV Service and Sellers from Continued Piracy; Awards DISH over $1 Million

 

  • Lool IPTV service owners found to have unlawfully transmitted foreign language television channels
  • Ruling also impacts dealers who promote or sell the Lool IPTV device

 

A federal court has ruled that the owners of the Lool IPTV service unlawfully streamed international television channels to users in the United States in violation of rights held by DISH. As part of the ruling, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered a $1,050,000 judgement in favor of DISH from defendants Lool Tech Co., Limited and Shenzhen Bilinren Technology Co., Ltd., d/b/a Shenzhen Lool Tech Co., Ltd.

“DISH works diligently with international programmers to legally deliver their content to consumers in the United States,” said Alex Fonoroff, senior corporate counsel at DISH. “This judgment makes it clear that the courts will not stand by and allow unauthorized services like Lool to profit at the expense of consumers, programmers, and lawful providers.”

According to the court’s final judgement, the Lool defendants retransmitted channels in which DISH holds exclusive rights, and copyrighted works that air on those channels, to users of their Lool IPTV service. In doing so, the court held that Lool directly infringed DISH’s exclusive rights to distribute and publicly perform the works that air on the channels.

The court also found that Lool further violated DISH’s rights by using the Lool IPTV boxes to share pirated content between users, and that the Lool defendants encouraged this activity rather than taking simple steps to prevent it. As a result of the ruling, the Lool defendants and entities affiliated with them, including retailers and other sellers of the Lool IPTV device, are permanently enjoined from copying, retransmitting, distributing, and promoting channels in violation of DISH’s rights.

DISH is enforcing the order against retailers who sell the Lool IPTV box and similar devices, including working with local investigators to identify retailers who sell the Lool IPTV box.  DISH is also enforcing the order against internet service providers that support the defendants’ service, which will result in the partial or complete termination of the Lool IPTV service for users in the United States.

A copy of the Lool complaint can be found here, and a copy of the ruling can be found here.

DISH was represented in the Lool lawsuit by the law firm of Hagan Noll & Boyle LLC.


IBCAP AND NAGRA EXTEND AGREEMENT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST PIRACY OF INTERNATIONAL TV CONTENT IN THE UNITED STATES

Expanded partnership leverages NAGRA’s anti-piracy technology, expertise and scalability to provide the next level of content value protection to IBCAP members

Englewood, CO., and Cheseaux, Switzerland – April 10, 2017 The International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy, Inc. (IBCAP), an alliance of leading international broadcasters committed to combatting unauthorized streaming and distribution of international television content in the United States, and NAGRA, a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company and the world’s leading independent provider of content protection and multiscreen television solutions, have entered into an expanded agreement to bring a new generation of anti-piracy technology and services to broadcasters and distributors of international and multicultural content.

“While anti-piracy measures against mainstream content seem to be an increasing priority for distributors and content owners, no organization was focused exclusively on protecting international and multicultural content. IBCAP was formed three years ago to fill this gap and has achieved significant success through its monitoring and takedown efforts” said Chris Kuelling, Executive Director of IBCAP. “The expansion of our agreement with NAGRA will help us leverage the latest technologies and expertise in content protection and anti-piracy with the aim of putting pirates out of business and replacing them with legitimate providers.”

“NAGRA is constantly expanding its portfolio of content value protection technologies and services, and this contract marks a milestone in our commitment to support broadcasters and content creators in the protection of their content from piracy in foreign markets,” said Frederic Guitard, Vice President Media Security Services for NAGRA. “Developing automated, state-of-the-art tools to detect unauthorized streaming – especially on increasingly popular IPTV set-top boxes and Kodi add-ons – helps ensure we can take swift and decisive action against pirates and maintain the value of the services offered to IBCAP members.”

Since IBCAP’s collaboration with NAGRA in 2014, lawsuits supported by NAGRA, or related to foreign language anti-piracy initiatives, have resulted in federal courts in various states ordering providers and retailers of piracy services to cease their infringing activities and pay millions of dollars for violating IBCAP members’ copyrights.

As part of the expanded agreement, both IBCAP and NAGRA will implement various strategies focused on combatting the illegitimate use and distribution of international content in the United States. Activities on behalf of IBCAP include the establishment of a monitoring lab to monitor and detect unauthorized use of IBCAP member content and automated systems to monitor set-top boxes, websites, and other streaming platforms. NAGRA will detect servers providing IBCAP member content without authorization, including both linear feeds and VOD content, and take actions to have that content removed. NAGRA will also provide on-the-ground investigation services and enhanced litigation support tools. Within the next weeks, NAGRA’s investigation services will be focused on identifying retailers selling pirate services, educating them about the risks of selling those pirate services, and collecting evidence for future investigations and lawsuits.


5 arrested in Kodi box swoop

Recent crackdown in England and Wales on distributors of STBs with Kodi add-ons leads to five arrests

(February 23, 2016) — Five people in England and Wales were arrested on February 8, 2017 in connection with the alleged sale and distribution of internet streaming boxes that included apps and Kodi add-ons that provided unauthorized access to live sports, movies, and TV shows.

Click here for more information


Kudelski Group strikes major blow against global pay-TV piracy in U.S. victory against Gotech

  • China’s Zhuhai Gotech Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. (Gotech) and associated companies were alleged to operate a global piracy network that sold millions of piracy-enabled set-top boxes annually while pretending to be a reputable company doing legitimate business
  • U.S. District Court ordered Gotech to pay statutory damages of $101 million for its manufacture, sale and maintenance of pirate devices and services, recognizing more than half a million individual infringements
  • Investigations have shown that Gotech has targeted all major Conditional Access providers and was enabling illegal content distribution
  • Kudelski Security’s extensive anti-piracy intelligence capabilities proved critical in identifying Gotech and obtaining the final judgement
  • Based on the court judgement, IBC organizers ban Gotech from exhibiting at the IBC trade show in Amsterdam

(Cheseaux, Switzerland – September 9, 2016) NAGRA, a Kudelski Group (SIX:KUD.S) company, the world’s leading independent provider of content protection, and Kudelski Security, a division of the Kudelski Group and a trusted advisor and cybersecurity innovator for the world’s most security-conscious organizations, today announced that the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas had awarded sister company Nagravision SA a final default judgement worth $101 million in a lawsuit against China’s Zhuhai Gotech Intelligent Technology Co., LTD., and two related companies. NAGRA filed the case alleging Gotech’s technologies and services were primarily designed and intended to circumvent content protection technologies. The identification and forensic investigation of the defendants and their alleged pirate activities was carried out by Kudelski Security and NAGRA Content Protection Services.

In the wide-ranging lawsuit, NAGRA argued that Zhuhai Gotech Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd., Gotech International Technology Ltd., and Globalsat International Technology Ltd. manufactured and distributed unauthorized set-top boxes under brand names including Globalsat, AZAmerica, NAZABox, Captiveworks and Limesat, as well as operating Internet Key Sharing (IKS) servers from servers located in the United States, thereby violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), § 1201(a)(2) as well as the Federal Communications Act (FCA), §§ 605(e)(4) and §§ 605(a). United States District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt ruled in NAGRA’s favor, saying in his final judgement that “The Court accepts as true the … well-pleaded allegations in NAGRA’s amended complaint.”

“We have demonstrated in our security labs that Gotech has impacted every major conditional access system (CAS) and is also providing an illegal content sharing solution, impacting pay-TV operators everywhere,” said Maurice van Riek, Senior Vice President, Head of Content and Asset Security for NAGRA. “We appreciate that the damage caused by the wrongdoing of Gotech has been recognized by the judge and that the court has ordered Gotech to stop harming our industry with their products and practices.”

Kudelski Security identified Gotech’s alleged piracy activities through the ongoing monitoring of global piracy activities from its locations in Switzerland and Brazil.  After identifying these activities, the anti-piracy experts conducted an ongoing forensic investigation to gather evidence for the court case. The court awarded NAGRA US$101,851,800 due to Kudelski Security’s ability to identify and prove the exact number of users (over half a million) connecting to the illegal Gotech services that were the subject of the lawsuit. Kudelski Security now estimates that there were in fact more than three million end users connected to various Gotech servers.

“The pleasure that billions of people around the world get from television every day is dependent on the ability of the legitimate value chain to capture fair value for its hard work,” said Frederic Guitard, Vice President Media Security Services for Kudelski Security. “When pirates illegally divert the flow of money away from legitimate content creators and distributors, the whole industry and ultimately the end consumer will suffer. That’s why it’s our mission to identify and manage piracy on behalf of our customers, even as it continues to evolve and morph on a daily basis.”

In addition to ordering the damage payment, Judge Hoyt also enjoined Gotech from manufacturing and selling any equipment or offering any services that could be used for piracy, as well as ordering Gotech to turn over any existing equipment or software that could be used to commit piracy. The judge also ordered third parties providing services that enable Gotech’s alleged piracy to stop doing so, and also ordered the ownership of Gotech’s primary website domain to be transferred to NAGRA. In a related move, organizers of the IBC Exhibition in Amsterdam – one of the pay-TV industry’s largest trade shows – have banned Gotech from exhibiting this year.