Dish Network, LLC has filed a copyright lawsuit in Texas against 5 Doe parties accused of unlawfully “re-transmitting” certain Arabic-language television programming.
Dish Network is a Colorado-based company that provides TV service to over 14 million satellite and broadband subscribers. According to the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Dish Network claims to have the exclusive right to distribute and “publicly perform” certain international channel programming, including Al Jazeera Arabic News and various channels operated by Middle East Broadcasting center, based in Dubai, UAE.
As regards the Doe defendants, the Dish Network complaint alleges:
Upon information and belief, Defendants capture live broadcast signals of the DISH Channels, transcode these signals into a format useful for streaming over the Internet, and then upload the content to their computer servers. … Defendants use computer servers to unlawfully retransmit the DISH Channels in the United States. The DISH Channels were observed during testing of an unauthorized set-top box capable of receiving Defendants’ unauthorized retransmissions. The DISH Channels are also identified in the user interface that viewers navigate when accessing content through the unauthorized set-top box and software applications.
The lawsuits seek damages including Defendants’ profits and statutory penalties; injunctive relief to cause the Defendants to cease infringement; and “impoundment and disposition of all infringing articles under 17 U.S.C. § 503.”
UPDATE (10/21/17): Dish Network has filed a separate similar action in the same Court, this time targeting a software “Developer” and group of “Operators” involved with an unlicensed service known as “Zem TV” which is made available as an “add-on” for the Kodi media player. In part the lawsuit alleges:
Upon information and belief, Developer: selects and locates the channels that are
retransmitted on the ZemTV service; updates and posts new versions of the ZemTV add-on on
www.tvaddons.ag and www.tvaddons.org; captures live broadcast signals of the Protected
Channels outside the United States; transcodes these signals into a format useful for streaming
over the Internet; and then uploads and transfers the transcoded content to computer servers that are controlled and maintained by Developer.