Dish Network rang in the new year with a pair of content piracy lawsuits, Torrent Freak reported today. The move could set the stage for a full-court press from the media industry against makers and distributors of “Kodi boxes” and unauthorized IPTV services.
Typical Kodi box sellers first buy cheap, generic Android-based set-top boxes. Then, they install free, illegal software. Next, they brand and resell the boxes — and reel in the resulting profits.
Dish Network claims, according to TorrentFreak, that each Kodi box seller “illegally captures and retransmits dozens of its channels to US citizens.” Dish wants damages of $150,000 per registered work.
Revving the Legal Engines
The Dish Network lawsuit follows a series of legal actions in 2017 by media companies around the world.
- The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment sued an Atlanta-based company for selling set-top boxes that enable content piracy. It also shut down a ring of IPTV distributors in Australia.
- A European Court of Justice ruling decided that everyone in the European content piracy chain all the way down to the Kodi box user is violating European copyright laws.
- The UK’s Crimestoppers program launched an anti-piracy campaign. The campaign encourages the British public to report sellers of illegal Kodi boxes.
This new year promises an even more intense campaign against content piracy. The media industry is spending billions to produce content like Stranger Things and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Copyright holders may be prepared to spend massive amounts of money to protect their investments.