21 February 2022CopyrightAlex Baldwin

Disney, Netflix win early injunction against pirate streamers

Netflix, Disney and Universal, are among a group of major film and TV studios to have convinced a California court to bar two pirate sites from streaming copyrighted works.

The media companies sued AllAccessTV (AATV) and Quality Restreams in December last year, claiming that they had steamed copyrighted movies and television shows without authorisation.

Following the initial  complaint, several other video-on-demand services and movie publishers including Amazon, Apple Video and Columbia pictures joined the lawsuit and asked the court to halt the website’s operations.

In an  order handed down last week, the US District Court for the Central District of California issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the two websites from performing, copying distributing or streaming copyrighted works from the media companies.

As part of the order, the alleged operator of the two websites Dwayne Anthony Johnson has been ordered to park the domain names.

The complaint alleged that the AATV had infringed their copyrights through an internet protocol television (IPTV) service that “illegally streams” live and on-demand content in high definition that would attract paying subscribers through a “growing network of resellers”.

As well as providing restreams of live broadcasts, the websites offered unauthorised video-on-demand services streaming popular movies and television shows such as “The Godfather”, “Harry Potter”, “Jurassic Park”, and “The Office”.

The original complaint requested that the court issue both preliminary and permanent injunctions to stop the continued infringement of the pirate sites, selling the website domain, and asked for maximum statutory damages and a jury trial.

Greece preemptive blocking order

This injunction comes amid a global crackdown on IPTV sites. On Friday, February 19, Greece introduced a new amendment to its copyright law that will make it possible to block domains and IP associated with pirate live-streaming services prior to major sporting events.

The amendment grants the Greece copyright committee (EDPPI) the power to issue preemptive blocking orders against domains that offer access to live broadcasts, according to  TorrentFreak.

Greece, which first began blocking pirate domains in 2018, has so far authorised the blocking of 362 domain names and 185 IP addresses in the lead up to major live events.

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