14 August 2020Copyright

Netflix wants IPTV provider shut down for ‘brazen’ piracy

A coalition of entertainment and media companies including  Netflix and  Disney is suing to shut down an internet protocol TV (IPTV) provider for copyright infringement.

In a complaint filed at the US District Court for the Central District of California Wednesday, August 12, the plaintiffs accused Crystal Clear Media of offering unauthorised access to “thousands” of television shows, including live broadcasts.

These allegedly include “24/7 marathons” of “Frozen II”, the “Harry Potter” series, and “Bad Boys for Life”.

Netflix and its co-plaintiffs say that Crystal Clear has made “concerted efforts to conceal their role in this illegal distribution chain while continuing to offer and profit from their blatantly infringing service”.

According to the suit, Crystal Clear operates a video-on-demand service disguised publicly as a virtual gaming product.

The company has reportedly responded to consumer enquiries, assuring them that this is “NOT a VR Gaming plan, it is really our VOD service”.

The IPTV and VOD subscriptions retail at  $14.99 to $39.99 per month, depending on the package selected and number of connections available to a customer, the complaint said.

“Defendants’ efforts to hide their infringing activity does not change the fact they are engaged in a mass infringing scheme,” the suit claimed, adding: “On the contrary, Defendants’ subterfuge demonstrates that they know they are operating unlawfully.”

The film and TV industry has been active in clamping down on illegal IPTV services. In March, the  Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment succeeded in having an Australian pirate IPTV service shut down, as part of a wider campaign against such providers.

ACE is a global coalition including many of the plaintiffs in the Crystal Clear suit, including Disney, Paramount, and Netflix.

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More on this story

4 March 2020   Anti-piracy and copyright protection body the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment has helped shut down Aus Media Streaming, a “piracy outfit that was selling internet protocol television set-top boxes and subscriptions”.
19 August 2020   A video game creator has had his copyright infringement suit over the “Star Trek: Discovery” television series thrown out by a federal appeals court.
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