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Major film and TV corporations have come together to oppose a popular source of allegedly pirated content in a copyright infringement suit.
Content streamers Netflix and Amazon have joined film studios Universal, Columbia, Disney, Paramount, Warner Bros, and 20th Century Fox in a lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division, on Wednesday, January 10.
The claim is against Dragon Media, which markets and sells consumers boxes pre-loaded with software to enable access to allegedly pirated content. The Dragon Box uses software programmes, preloaded and customised, to enable customers to access infringing content, according to the complaint.
All claimants in this matter are members of the Alliance for Creativity. The alliance was galvanised in June 2017, when Netflix united with the BBC and 28 other content creators and entertainment to fight online piracy, sister site WIPR reported. The coalition develops anti-piracy resources and works closely with law enforcement to curtail piracy, as well as filing complaints such as this one.
Advertising for the Dragon Box specifically invites consumers to “stop paying for Netflix and Hulu” and “watch virtually every movie” with “free pay per view”. At the centre of the claim is the allegation that Dragon Media sells illegal access to copyrighted works.
Dragon Media urges its customers to use the Dragon Box “as a tool for the mass infringement of the copyrighted motion pictures and television shows”, according to the complaint. The claimants own or have the exclusive rights to many of these shows.
The Dragon Media application provides buyers with a “selection of the most popular add-ons for accessing infringing content” designed to search the internet for sources of copyrighted content and return links to it. When the link is clicked, customers reportedly receive unauthorised streams of film or television material.
The claimants allege that Dragon Media’s marketing presents use of the box for “overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, infringing purposes” and that such inducement is intentional. The film and TV corporations are therefore claiming for copyright infringement and contributory copyright infringement.
Triple damages are sought, in the sum of up to $150,000 per infringement by Dragon Media. A preliminary and permanent injunction is also requested alongside the confiscation of all Dragon Boxes under the control of Dragon Media.
Dragon Box, piracy, copyright infringement, alliance for creativity, Netflix