In recent years, a wide variety of companies have filed
lawsuits against sellers of pirate set-top boxes.
Several of these cases target devices that cater to the Asian
market and havent received a lot of press, but a recent order
against the company behind the BTV set-top box caught our eye.
The case in question was filed by a group of rightsholders
including Asia TV, Star India, Viacom18, and Dish Network. In their
complaint, they accuse Hong Kong-based Dibia Networks Limited of
running a pirate broadcasting network by retransmitting copyrighted
Dibia has built its business model around blatant copyright
infringement, brazenly advertising and promoting the capability of
the BTV device to provide users with infringing streams of the
Copyrighted Programs, it reads.
As is often the case in piracy-related lawsuits, Dibia did not
defend itself. As a result, the rightsholders moved for a default
judgment which includes a rather broad permanent injunction.
The companies requested the maximum statutory damages for 44
separate TV episodes and that is exactly what they got. In a recent
order, New York District Court Judge George Daniels awarded a total
of $6.6 million in damages.
Its questionable whether the rightsholders will ever see a
penny, but an associated permanent junction gives them a lot of
options to make sure that the BTV set-top boxes remain offline.
Aside from restraining Dibia from engaging in any infringing
activities, it directs domain name registrars and registries to
disable BTVs websites, and transfer the domains to the
rightsholders. This includes BTVBox.com, which has been signed over
to Dish Network.
These domain takeovers are not new but the injunction goes
further than that, mentioning various third-party intermediaries
who are compelled to cut their ties with servers or sites that are
linked to BTV the boxes or apps.
This includes companies that are involved in sales,
distribution, shipping or logistics services, for the set-top
boxes, but also back-end service providers, service providers
routing traffic or providing bandwidth, content delivery networks,
and domain name server systems, for the associated sites.
This order is rather broad, particularly in respect of the
companies that route traffic, which could include the Tier1
networks that form the Internets backbone. The term DNS systems can
be interpreted broadly as well, adding virtually every ISP into the
Whether this is the intention of the rightsholders is unclear,
as they list CloudFlare, Incapsula, and DNSPod as examples. The
latter two dont o...