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The Ongoing Fight Against TV Piracy

IPTV is Internet Protocol Television.  It is a technology that delivers streaming content over internet protocol networks and is a step away from using traditional television technologies like satellite and cable networks.  SET Broadcast LLC sells the popular IPTV service SET TV.

In 2018, SET TV was accused of selling pirate IPTV subscriptions. The lawsuit was filed by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (“ACE”), an anti-piracy coalition that has 33 of the largest entertainment companies amongst its members, including major Hollywood Studios, Amazon, and Netflix. ACE has been instrumental in having over 4000 illegal websites disabled or removed in 31 countries in the last 7 years.

SET TV marketed its popular software-based IPTV service and pre-loaded set-top boxes as a legal service.  ACE has complained, however, that SET TV was simply a tool for people to stream infringing content.

ACE members are not the only rightsholders that have complained about the SET TV software. In June 2018, Dish Network brought a claim for copyright infringement against the company for the same issue. In November 2018, that matter settled and Dish Network was paid $90 million in damages.

Since ACE filed the lawsuit against SET Broadcast LLC, Jason Labossiere, who is the site operator and domain registrant of www.setvnow.com, and Nelson Johnson, who is a partner at SET Broadcast LLC, have failed to engage with the litigation. It has been reported that their attorney has ceased to act for them as a result of unpaid invoices.  In April 2019, the court agreed to remove SET Broadcast LLC’s counsel from the record and instructed each of the Defendants to look for alternate legal representation; which they have failed to do.

Due to the Defendants’ lack of representation and engagement, ACE was entitled to file a request for default judgment.  This was filed only recently and unless SET Broadcast LLC and its co-defendants engage in the litigation, ACEs request for judgment will likely be successful.

Following the impact of the lawsuit filed by Dish Network which ended with a large settlement, it might be that SET Broadcast LLC has no money left to give. This can be seen as another win for rights holders, with the walls continuing to close on digital piracy and illegal streaming.

If you have any questions on the above, please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel & Co. on 0191 281 4000 or legal@mcdanielslaw.com.