Contact Us Today! (877) 276-5084

Attorney Steve® Blog

Streaming Piracy Law – where will it lead us from here?

Posted by Steve Vondran | Mar 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

Key case law in the world of streaming media piracy

Streaming video piracy attorney 1024x682

Introduction – The Tickbox case

Several Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (aka “ACE”) members sued a company called Tickbox TV, a company that was selling “fully-loaded” Kodi boxes which ACE refers to as a “piracy device.”  Recently, the Plaintiffs (Universal City Studios Productions LLLP; Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; Disney Enterprises, Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.; Amazon Content Services, LLC; Netflix Studios, LLC) were able to secure a preliminary injunction against the Defendant and I noticed it looked like their website has been taken down.

According to ACE:

“The updated preliminary injunction entered by Judge Michael Fitzgerald on February 13 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California orders TickBox to:

  • Ensure its launcher software does not contain links to any “build,” “theme,” “app,” “add-on” or other software program that TickBox knows or has reason to know connects to pirated content.
  • Update the TickBox launcher software to delete or disable any previously installed apps that link to pirated content.
  • Remove all access points on the TickBox home screen that take users to menus to download software, apps, or add ons that link to pirated content.”

This is obviously a huge initial win for ACE.

Netflix v. Dragon Media case

In another similar case filed in the Central District of California, Defendant Dragon Media was sued for copyright infringement by Netflix and Amazon, Columbia Disney, Paramount, Warner, Universal and Twentieth Century Fox.  Here are some sample allegations from the complaint filed by Munger, Tolles, and Olson and the MPAA:

“Plaintiffs or their affiliates produce and distribute some of the most popular and critically acclaimed motion pictures and television shows in the world. Plaintiffs or their affiliates have invested (and continue to invest) substantial resources and effort each year to develop, produce, distribute, and publicly perform their Copyrighted Works.

Plaintiffs or their affiliates own or have the exclusive U.S. rights (among others) to reproduce, distribute, and publicly perform Plaintiffs' Copyrighted Works, including by means of streaming those works over the Internet to the public.

Plaintiffs authorize the distribution and public performance of their Copyrighted Works in various formats and through multiple distribution channels, including, by way of example: (a) for exhibition in theaters;

(b) through cable and direct-to-home satellite services (including basic, premium, and “pay-per-view”);

(c) through authorized, licensed Internet video-on-demand services, including those operated by iTunes, Google Play, Hulu, VUDU, Netflix, Inc. and Amazon.com, Inc.;

(d) for private home viewing on DVDs and Blu-ray discs;

and

(e) for broadcast on television.

The complaint continued:

Plaintiffs have not authorized Defendants, the operators of the third party sites to which Dragon Box links, or Defendants' customers, to exercise any of Plaintiffs' exclusive rights under the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 106.

Defendants' Inducement of and Contribution to the Infringement of Plaintiffs' Copyrighted Works The Dragon Box Experience 23. As advertised, Dragon Box is easy for customers to install and operate. Customers need only connect Dragon Box to the Internet and a screen (e.g., computer monitor or television) to operate. Defendants' marketing materials describe the “QUICK & EASY INSTALL!” and explain to customers that “all you need is an Internet connection and HDTV.”

Defendants market Dragon Box as a device that gives their customers direct access to “Free pay per view. Free movies still in theaters in HD and 3D. Sports Packages, [and] Kids content.” Defendants boast that “All content is free”1 for Dragon Box customers.

The complaint goes on to discuss the Dragon Box:

“The Dragon Box device primarily utilizes two types of software programs. The first is a software media player called “Kodi.” Kodi is a third-party “open source” media player, meaning that it operates with many different programs and file formats. Kodi is recognized as the most popular media player for supporting the second type of software program Dragon Box relies on: “addons.” An addon is a software program that runs in conjunction with an underlying software program (like Kodi) to provide functionality over and above the functionality that the underlying software provides The Dragon Box device allows Defendants' customers to access “unlimited” “free” content through the use of the “Dragon Media” software application. The Dragon Media application provides Defendants' customers with a customized configuration of the Kodi media player and a curated selection of the most popular add-ons for accessing infringing content. These add-ons are designed and maintained for the overarching purpose of scouring the Internet for illegal sources of copyrighted content and returning links to that content. When Dragon Box customers click those links, those customers receive unauthorized streams of popular motion pictures and television shows.”

The complaint goes on to allege causes of action for:

  1. (Intentionally Inducing the Infringement of Plaintiffs' Copyrighted Works, 17 U.S.C. § 106), and
  2. (Contributory Copyright Infringement by Knowingly and Materially Contributing to the Infringement of Plaintiffs' Copyrighted Works, 17 U.S.C. § 106).

More Streaming Media & Legal Resources

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) offered a seminar entitled ‘Unboxing the Piracy Threat of Streaming Media Boxes.'

Copyright Act of 1976

Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984

Digital Millennium Act of 1998

The Piracy and Counterfeiting Amendments Act of 1982

Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005

Contact a Streaming Piracy Lawyer

We can help both Plaintiff's and Defendants in illegal download, torrent, streaming media and traditional copyright infringement cases.  Call (877) 276-5084.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

Comments

There are no comments for this post. Be the first and Add your Comment below.

Leave a Comment

Contact us for an initial consultation!

For more information, or to discuss your case or our experience and qualifications please contact us at (877) 276-5084. Please note that our firm does not represent you unless and until a written retainer agreement is signed, and any applicable legal fees are paid. All initial conversations are general in nature. Free consultations are limited to time and availability of counsel and will depend on the type of case you are calling about (no free consultations for other lawyers). All users and potential clients are bound by our Terms of Use Policies. We look forward to working with you!

Menu