Court Shuts Down Shava TV, Cres TV for Illegal Streaming of International Programming

Shava TV, Cres TV were already hit with $25 million judgement
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Dish Network said the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ruled to shut down Shava TV and Cres TV, OTT services that were found to be streaming and selling a wide array of international programming illegally in the U.S.

Those services, the plaintiffs claimed, had been selling Shava TV and Cres IPTV boxes with access to service for $279 to $349 per unit, depending on the service, while giving customers the false impression that they were providing lawful broadcasts.

The plaintiffs charged that that Shava TV and Cres TV, which were said to be retransmitting channels using a peer-to-peer network, did not provide compensation for selling and distributing their content, which included Arabic and South Asian entertainment programming.

Per the judgement, the group of plaintiffs, which included Dish, was also awarded more than $25 million in damages.

According to the judgement last fall and later recommended in January 2017, the defendants, Imran Butt and Naeem Butt, were ordered to pay $23.85 million to MSN Asia (consisting of $150K for each of its 159 registered works); $1.35 million to Viacom 18 Media ($150,000 each for its nine registered works); and $450,000 to Star India (for $150,000 each of its three registered works.)

Those defendants are likewise enjoined from infringing on a group that includes Al Jazeera Media Network, Asia TV USA Ltd, B4U US Inc., Geo USA LLC, Impress Telefilm, MBC FZ, MSM Asia, Soundview Broadcasting, Soundview ATN , Star India private, Viacom18 Media Private Ltd, and Dish Network.

The plaintiffs said they are now working with ISPs, CDNs and others to enforce the injunction.

“This decision reinforces the fact that services streaming video without copyright authorization are blatant infringers and will be held accountable by the courts,” Alex Fonoroff, senior corporate counsel at Dish, said in a statement. “Enforcement efforts are underway, and as ISPs terminate service to the Shava and Cres networks we expect to see piracy on these boxes come to an end.”

“Perpetrators of pirate TV services think they can get away with it, but as this ruling proves, it’s only a matter of time before the law puts an end to illegal streaming schemes,” added Jaideep Janakiram, SVP International Business-Head of the Americas at Sony, whose subsidiary MSM Asia Ltd. was a plaintiff in the case.

The lawsuit was filed in June 2015 over claims for copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition.  

Dish also said this week that a federal court had ruled that the owners of the Lool IPTV service unlawfully streamed international television channels to users in the U.S. in violation of rights held by the pay TV provider. In that case, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered a $1,050,000 judgement in favor of Dish from Lool Tech Co., Limited and Shenzhen Bilinren Technology Co., Ltd., d/b/a Shenzhen Lool Tech Co., Ltd.