IBCAP & DISH: $7M judgment is 2nd anti-piracy action in 2 weeks

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IBCAP recently announced that another member lawsuit coordinated by IBCAP has resulted in a final judgment and permanent injunction against the pirate streaming service Universe IPTV, and the three owners behind it.

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The court ruled that the three owners had engaged in copyright infringement and must pay $7,050,000.  The owners are also prohibited from ‘transmitting, streaming, distributing, or publicly performing in the United States, with any Universe Subscription, or any other device, application, service, or process’ – and from ‘advertising, displaying or marketing…selling, leasing, licensing, assigning, conveying, distributing, loaning, encumbering, pledging, or otherwise transferring, whether or not for consideration or compensation,’ any of the programming and channels identified in the decision.

According to IBCAP, the Federal Court in Texas also enjoined all hosting companies, CDNs, social media companies, and email providers from providing services that support the defendants’ enjoined activities. This includes an order specifically directing the disabling of 10 IP addresses used by Universe IPTV within 48 hours of the decision.

(Note: As of the date of this article, the Universe IPTV authentication server had been taken down. )

Universe IPTV. Source: Screen shot taken 2021-1007

This Universe IPTV case is separate from a case filed in Michigan against a pirate service known as iStar and one of its resellers, Atlas Electronics.  In late September, IBCAP announced that case filing, which may lead to a conclusion similar to this Universe IPTV case.  IBCAP, the International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy, coordinated both cases in which DISH Network was the plaintiff.

Also, similar to the iStar and Atlas Electronics case, Universe IPTV had ignored cease-and-desist notices from IBCAP leading to a lawsuit being filed against Universe IPTV in August 2020.

“In the cases we’ve coordinated, the courts are consistently handing down broad injunctions against pirate services and everyone involved with them, including against dealers, CDN’s, hosting companies and ISPs, and this most recent order is no exception,” said Chris Kuelling, executive director for IBCAP.  “We will continue to disable these pirate networks and shut down dealers who choose to sell pirate services. Eventually the dealers will realize engaging with criminals is not worth risking their business.”

Read the IBCAP news release

Read the Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction (US District Court of the Southern District of Texas)

Why it matters

Not only does this decision halt operations of Universe IPTV, it also enjoins the defendants themselves, their distributors and retailers from transmitting the identified channels in the US and also from distributing, selling or promoting the Universe IPTV itself.  This is intended to stop re-distribution by any downstream illegal service or distributor.

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