US broadcaster DISH Networks has won a $2.7m judgment against a pirate IPTV provider and a hosting company through which it operated. In addition, DISH has permission to seize all of the companies’ domains and order the disabling of any future domains, should they be used to infringe the broadcaster’s copyrights.
In July 2019, US broadcaster DISH Networks filed a lawsuit in a Delaware federal court targeting US-based Serverlogy Corporation and several John Does, together doing business as East IPTV.
Serverlogy Corporation was described as a CDN/hosting company providing services to pirate IPTV supplier EastIPTV. According to DISH, EastIPTV is guilty of direct copyright infringement due to channels licensed to DISH being illegally broadcasted via the service.
DISH Takedown Notices Were Ignored
The original complaint stated that DISH had been sending infringement notices concerning East IPTV to content delivery networks (CDNs) for some time, with at least two CDNs removing DISH’s content in March and June 2018. For its part, Serverlogy reportedly refused to stop EastIPTV from infringing DISH’s rights.
DISH demanded damages from EastIPTV for direct copyright infringement and from Serverlogy for contributory and vicarious infringement, seeking statutory damages of $150,000 for each registered work. The case wasn’t to be settled quickly, however.
In an amended complaint filed in February 2020, DISH named Ahmad Al Shahman as the operator of EastIPTV, claiming that his infringing conduct continued for more than two months after the original complaint was filed.
The broadcaster further noted that Serverlogy was ineligible for safe harbor protections under the DMCA because it failed to respond to takedown demands, had no repeat infringer policy, and didn’t have an appointed DMCA agent. Since then, EastIPTV and Serverlogy Corporation have played little to no part in the legal proceedings.
EastIPTV and Serverlogy Liable For Copyright Infringement
In a default judgment handed down this week, Judge Richard G. Andrews found that Shahman profited from the EastIPTV service by selling IPTV devices that illegally transmitted DISH channels, infringing the company’s copyrights.
“In doing so, Shahman directly infringed DISH’s exclusive rights to distribute and publicly perform the works that air on the Protected Channels,” the judgment reads.
The judgment further reaches the conclusion that Serverlogy was operated by Shahman himself and in keeping with DISH’s assertion that the company failed to live up to its obligations under the DMCA, finds Serverlogy liable for EastIPTV’s infringements.
“Serverlogy is ineligible for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (‘DMCA’) safe harbor because it failed to appoint an agent for receiving copyright infringement notices, failed to respond expeditiously to remove or disable access to the Protected Channels, and failed to adopt and reasonably implement a policy that provides the termination of subscribers who are repeat infringers,” the decision reads.
DISH Wins $2.7 Million Judgment
Finding EastIPTV liable for direct copyright infringement and Serverlogy liable for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement, the Judge turns to the matter of damages.
“DISH Network L.L.C. shall have judgment against Ahmad Al Shahrnan in the total amount of $2,100,000, and judgment against Serverlogy Corporation in the amount of $600,000,” the Judge writes. But of course, the matter doesn’t end there.
All defendants are permanently enjoined from transmitting, streaming or otherwise distributing DISH content in the future and may not offer for sale or market any product that infringes the broadcaster’s rights. Furthermore, both EastIPTV and Serverlogy will forfeit their domains under instruction from the Court.
VeriSign, Inc. and any other registries and registrars of the domain names Eastiptv.com, Serverlogy.com, Globalflarenetwork.com and Iptvupdate.com, within 48 hours of receiving this Order, shall (i) make the websites and any other content located at the domain names inaccessible to the public; (ii) transfer the domain names to DISH, including changing the registrar of record to the registrar selected by DISH at DISH’s reasonable expense; and (iii) after the transfer, reenable the domain names so that DISH may fully control and use the domain names.
In addition, registries and registrars are also instructed to disable all future domain names used by the defendants if they are used to infringe DISH’s copyrights. DISH is required to identify these domains and report them to the domain companies, which must then render them inaccessible within 48 hours.
The default judgment and permanent injunction can be found here (pdf)
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.