The US District Court of the Southern District of Texas ordered a Houston-based seller of the Super Arab IPTV service to pay $2.1 million in damages for willful copyright infringement, said IBCAP, the International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP). The seller was also ordered to remove the channels of IBCAP member DISH Network from the pirate service.
The court also issued a broad injunction enjoining dealers and distributors from selling the Super Arab service, ordering hosting providers to disable certain IP addresses used by Super Arab, ordering registries and registrars to disable current and future domains
used by Super Arab, and enjoining CDNs and other infrastructure providers used in connection with the Super Arab service.
The defendents knew that the Super Arab Service was providing access to television channels exclusively licensed to DISH. Shenzhen Street Cat manufactures, distributes, and sells Super Arab IPTV set-top boxes and account renewals to Shenzhen Jiemao Technologies, with knowledge that Jiemao in turn distributes and sells them to Yahya Alghafir and Texas Communication and Technology for resale to the public.
DISH contracts for and licenses rights for international channels distributed on its platform from channel owners and their agents, including Al Jazeera Media Network; MBC FZ LLC; International Media Distribution (Luxembourg) S.A.R.L.; and World Span Media Consulting, Inc. (collectively, the “Networks”). The Networks’ channels protected under copyright law include Al Arabiya; Al Hayah 1; Al Jazeera Arabic News; Al Jazeera Mubasher; ART Cima; CBC; CBC Drama; Future TV; Hekayat; LBC; LBCI (a/k/a LDC); MBC1; MBC Drama; MBC Kids (a/k/a MBC3); MBC Masr; and Melody Classic.
The defendents were distributing this programming without license from DISH to do so.
As part of IBCAP’s investigation, the Texas retailer received multiple notices of copyright infringement but ignored them, resulting in the court’s finding of willful infringement and the award of $2.1 million. The court determined that the retailer’s violation was willful as shown by its “receipt of numerous notices of infringement demanding that [the retailer] … cease distributing, selling, and promoting the Super Arab IPTV service in the United States.”
The original complaint was filed on May 13, 2020. Case number 4:20-cv-01678
Read the court order, DISH NETWORK L.L.C., Plaintiff, v. YAHYA ALGHAFIR, TEXAS § COMMUNICATION & TECHNOLOGY LLC, SHENZHEN JIEMAO TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD., and SHENZHEN STREET § CAT TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD., individually and together d/b/a Super § Arab IPTV, defendants
Read the IBCAP press release: IBCAP-Driven Lawsuit Results in $2.1 Million Judgment Against Texas Retailer of Super Arab IPTV Pirate Service
Why it matters
“This case is yet another example of what happens when a local dealer ignores IBCAP cease and desist notices. An award of more than $2 million against an individual residing in Texas reinforces our repeated message to dealers of pirate services — participating in copyright infringement by selling pirate services is not worth the risk,” said Chris Kuelling, executive director of IBCAP. “In this case, not only was the dealer ordered to pay, but the court also issued a broad injunction that will enable us to shut down the service in the U.S. as well as all dealers of the service. We will enforce this order against dealers of the
Super Arab service, non-parties associated with Super Arab, and the transfer of domains critical to the operation of the service.”
The evidence for this case was collected by IBCAP’s anti-piracy lab in coordination with NAGRA. “We will leave no stone unturned as we help our industry continue to fight piracy,” said Pascal Métral, VP Anti-Piracy Services at NAGRA.