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Viacom18, Star India & B4U win case against pirated streaming in US

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MUMBAI: A US court has ordered closure of unauthorised digital streaming and distribution by the providers of the Cres TV and Shava STBs in further success for US pay-TV operator Dish. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia recently awarded more than US$25 million in damages in another blow to peddlers of illegal video piracy services soon after forcing the closure of an illegal IPTV operation.

The court awarded the huge sum in damages to plaintiffs for unauthorised distribution of copyrighted works. Plaintiffs include Dish Network L.L.C., Al Jazeera Media Network, Asia TV USA Ltd., B4U U.S., Inc., GEO USA LLC, Impress Telefilm, Inc., MBC FZ LLC, MSM Asia Ltd., Soundview Broadcasting LLC, Soundview ATN LLC, Star India Private Ltd. and Viacom18 Media Private Limited.

Back in India, Viacom18 has secured a John Doe interim order from Madras High Court restricting more than 1250 identified and all other unidentified websites from making the infringing copies of Viacom18’s latest release i.e ‘Force2’ available for public viewing over internet.

In the said order, the Court has further directed 40 major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and also other unidentified ISPs to block all such pirate websites which are illegally making the said film available over internet, Advanced Television reported.

Back in India in Novermber 2016, Viacom18 had blocked Force 2 movie telecast across 1250 websites after getting an interim order from the Madras High Court  Viacom18 secured the John Doe interim order restricting identified and other unidentified websites from making the infringing copies of Viacom18’s release i.e ‘Force2’ available for public viewing over internet.

In the said order, the Court has further directed 40 major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and also other unidentified ISPs to block all such pirate websites which are illegally making the said film available over internet.

Viacom18 group general counsel Sujeet Jain said, “I welcome this order. It is estimated that India loses $2.5 billion to online movie piracy every year. This order is a significant development for the film industry in its fight against online piracy. As immediate next steps, we’ve also launched an investigation into identifying the source of piracy at the threshold level and we will be soon taking strict action on that front." Viacom18 had earlier successfully secured John Doe orders against infringement of its films Drishyam and ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ as well.

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