Omniverse, a now-defunct supplier of IPTV streams, is demanding a $50 million default judgment against cable operator Hovsat. The amount covers the piracy damages Omniverse owes a group of major Hollywood studios. Hovsat is responsible for this damages claim, according to the IPTV company, as it fraudulently claimed to have a proper license from DirectTV.
Last year, several major Hollywood studios filed a piracy lawsuit against Omniverse One World Television.
Under the flag of anti-piracy group ACE, the companies accused Omniverse and its owner Jason DeMeo of supplying pirated streaming channels to various IPTV services.
Omniverse offered live-streaming services to third-party distributors, such as Dragon Box and HDHomerun, which in turn offered live TV streaming packages to customers. According to ACE, the company was a pirate streaming TV supplier, offering these channels without permission from its members.
The IPTV supplier initially denied the allegations and countered that it did everything by the book. The company pointed to a licensing deal it had with cable company Hovsat, which relied on a long-standing agreement with DirecTV to distribute TV content.
As the case progressed, the Hovsat deal didn’t turn out to be as solid as expected. After several IPTV providers distanced themselves from Omniverse, it threw in the towel. Last November the company agreed to a liability judgment of $50 million for the copyright infringements it caused.
While Omniverse agreed to the monstrous judgment, it mostly blames Hovsat, as it made clear in a separate complaint that was filed against the company last summer. The IPTV supplier always believed that it was properly licensed and wants Hovsat to cover the multi-million piracy bill.
As time went by it became apparent that Hovsat, a revoked New Jersey corporation, wasn’t responding in court. The same is true for its alleged owner Shant Hovnanian. This lack of response has now prompted Omniverse to request a default judgment.
In a new filing submitted at a federal court in California, Omniverse is demanding $50 million, the exact damages amount it agreed with the Hollywood studios last November.
“HovSat is the party responsible for the copyright infringement alleged by the Plaintiffs by way of misrepresenting to Omniverse that HovSat actually received a license to distribute the copyrighted content through agreements with DirecTV,” Omniverse writes.
The defunct IPTV supplier accuses Hovsat of fraudulently claiming that it had a valid and lawful copyright license from DirecTV. This breach of contract made Omniverse liable for millions of dollars in damages.
“Had HovSat not made the misrepresentations regarding acquiring the distribution licenses for the copyrighted content, and thus not breached their contract with Omniverse, Omniverse would have never been subject to the above-caption lawsuit raised by Plaintiffs. It logically follows that HovSat’s misrepresentations thus proximately and directly caused the $50,000,000 in damages suffered by Omniverse,” the filing adds.
The court has yet to sign off on the default judgment. However, since Hovsat is not defending itself in court, there is a good chance that the IPTV supplier will indeed come out the winner. Whether it will ever recoup any of the potential damages from Hovsat is another question.
A copy of the proposed default judgment, which has yet to be signed off, is available here (pdf).
Many thanks to TorrentFreak for the breaking news.