A group of studios (listed below) filed a complaint against Jason Tusa and ‘Does 1-10’, alleging that Tusa and the other defendents currently operate the pirate streaming site Altered.Carbon TV, despite having previously signed a written settlement to stop offering copyrighted programming under other identities. That settlement letter was intended to settle the original matter outside of court.
The new complaint characterized Altered.Carbon TV as a re-branded version of an operation previously known as Area 51, Digital UniCorn Media and Singularity Media. Each time the site was re-branded, Tusa had promised that he would ‘never again relaunch’ an infringing service – and yet soon afterward, a new service would appear. This time, the plaintiffs filed the complaint “because there is no other way to put an end to Tusa’s infringement.”
Read the complaint, filed in US District Court, Central District of California, Western Division: Case 2:21-cv-0456-VAP-AS
According to the complaint, Tusa’s “IPTV” service offered nearly 2,600 channels of TV programming by subscription for $7.00 – $10.00 per month, plus pay-per-view events. The alleged predecessors to Altered.Carbon TV carried programming from Netflix and Amazon that Altered.Carbon TV apparently did not.
The current complaint characterizes Tusa as “a recidivist mass infringer,” and demand a jury trial. The plaintiffs seek Tufa’s profits plus damages – or, alternatively, a maximum amount of $150,000 per infringed work. In addition, they seek reimbursement of legal fees.
The complaint says that Altered.Carbon operates under six domains: alteredcarbon.online, 2pmtoforever.com, catchingbutterflies.host, stealingkisses.me, dum.world, and twoavocados.us. The complaint asks for an injunction to prevent the transfer or sale of these domains.
The 2pmtoforever.com Web site appears to offer Altered.Carbon content to resellers
Two of the other sites (alteredcarbon.online and stealingkisses.me) were hosted but not offering content at the time of this writing.
Why it matters
When a pirate receives a take-down notice, It’s a common practice to continue operations by changing IP addresses, switching to a different domain, or in this case, re-starting under a different identity.
US regulators are currently evaluating recommendations made toward updating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to improve the process of chasing such infringers by allowing blocking requests to add new sites as pirates make such changes.
Regulators in the Philippines have agreed to consider rolling site blocking as a way to ensure that the same pirates don’t come back. Site blocking regulations are in effect in about two dozen countries.
Studios acting as plaintiffs:
Warner Bros. Entertainment, several divisions of Universal, Columbia Pictures, Disney, Netflix, Paramount, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Animation and Open 4 Business Productions.