A nearly $27 million law suit against two South Asian pirate services, Desi TV and Live TV, a Brooklyn NY seller of the illegal services, and its owner, charging them with copyright infringement, was filed by DISH Network in a US District Court in New York. DISH held exclusive rights to hold and distribute 179 registered works – mostly TV channels – that were being distributed by the pirates. IBCAP, the International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy, and Nagra, worked with DISH in supporting roles. Investigations to build evidence against the pirate began in 2017.
In addition, ten unidentified individuals named in the lawsuit promoted the infringing services on the websites www.livetvbox.org, buylivetvbox.com, and www.desiiptvhd.com, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. One of the sites offered an illegal service package that “[i]ncludes 24 months membership and Global Shipping Live/Desi Pro Plus android box.” for $299, with a “Recharge” renewal selling for $199 per year.
Evidence against the piracy operation was built over the four year period from August 2017 through September 2021, which included ordering the illegal set-top boxes from 786 Wireless, tracing payments, and accessing the infringing services.
For 179 registered works, DISH asked for up to $150,000 in statutory damages per registered work, or the profits associated with those works, and for profits realized from unregistered works. The suit asks the court to stop the defendents and anyone downstream from them from even the barest whiff of conveyance or promotion of the programming licensed by DISH.
A successful formula
This lawsuit is patterned after other copyright cases that have also been coordinated by IBCAP and filed by IBCAP members against pirate services and their resellers. Many of these have resulted in significant damage awards and either the removal of IBCAP-protected channels, or a shutdown of the infringing services entirely.
This was IBCAP’s third legal action within the past month; the others being a $7 Million judgment last week against Universe IPTV, and a $24 million lawsuit against iStar, its owners and its satellite division Atlas. All three actions were in support of DISH.
Also like the iStar and Universe IPTV cases, the Desi TV and Live TV complaint seeks an injunction against the defendants, and their hosting companies and CDNs, that would further distribution of infringing channels, and prohibit any retailers from reselling them.
Read the IBCAP press release
Read the Complaint, filed in the US District Court of the Eastern District of New York, Case 1:21-cv-05730-AMD-RML, filed October 14, 2021. It includes detailed descriptions and extensive screen-shots of the infringing services.
Why it matters
“This latest case reiterates that IBCAP and its members will not tolerate piracy and will take action against illegal IPTV services and their dealers who ignore our take down notices,” said Chris Kuelling, executive director of IBCAP. “Dealers of these illegal IPTV services need to realize that they are risking their entire business by being involved, and it simply is not worth taking that risk.”
Mr Kuelling is a speaker at the 2021 Video Security Summit, on October 20.