Thursday, April 18, 2024
IPTV Legal Provider Reviews, IPTV Directory, IPTV Legal Information


Hollywood Studios, Amazon & Netflix Sue ‘Evasive’ Pirate IPTV Operator From Texas

By iptv.legal , in amazon IPTV netflix Piracy , at March 28, 2024

tvnitroOperating a pirate IPTV service can be a dangerous endeavor, no matter where one’s located. In the United States, home to Hollywood and other major entertainment outfits, the risks are arguably even higher.

In the past, we have seen several pirate IPTV businesses being taken to court, with rightsholders almost always on the winning side. These cases can result in million-dollar damages awards or even multi-year prison sentences, if the feds get involved.

Despite this backdrop, some people are still willing to take a gamble. According to a new lawsuit filed at a Texan federal court, Dallas resident William Freemon and his company Freemon Technology Industries, are a prime example.

Hollywood Lawsuit Against IPTV Operator

The complaint, filed by Hollywood majors including Disney and Warner Bros, as well as streaming giants Amazon and Netflix, accuses the defendant of widespread copyright infringement.

This alleged illegal activity involves selling presumed pirate IPTV subscriptions through domains such as instantiptv.net, streamingtvnow.com,streamingtvnow.net, tvnitro.net, cashappiptv.com, livetvresellers.com, stncloud.ltd, and stnlive.ltd, some of which remain online today.

“Freemon operates an extensive and commercially scaled network of illegal streaming services that offers unauthorized access to live channels and video-on-demand streams of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted movies and TV shows,” the complaint reads.

iptv

The defendant is a familiar name for the entertainment companies, who have followed his actions for years.

“Freemon has a long history of brazen disregard for copyright laws, and his early foray into internet piracy is the first link in the chain leading to his current web of illegal services,” they write.

“Beginning in 2016 and continuing through 2019, Freemon sold illegally modified Fire TV Stick devices. These devices connect to a regular TV and allow customers to access unauthorized content.”

Firesticks Lead to IPTV

The ‘loaded’ Firestick business was promoted on X and Facebook and the complaint includes two dated screenshots from this activity. At the time, these devices were sold through firesticksloaded.com and firesticksloaded.biz, and Freemon was listed as the registrant for the latter domain.

ads old

These sites are long gone now but they offered a fruitful lead to other, potentially illegal, activities. The Firesticks domains were hosted on the same IP address as several other domain names and ultimately formed a trail to the controversial IPTV operations.

Those IPTV services include ‘Streaming TV Now’, ‘Instant IPTV’, ‘Cash App IPTV’, and ‘TV Nitro’. Some of these were subsequently advertised through the YouTube channel @williamfreemon3378, which the plaintiffs believe belongs to the defendant.

The YouTube videos are no longer online today as they were taken down following complaints from rightsholders, but they’re used as additional evidence to support the current lawsuit.

“These YouTube videos —and their subsequent removal— nonetheless provide further evidence that Freemon is behind this web of services and that he knows he is committing infringement,” the complaint reads.

freemon youtube

TV Nitro and Other IPTV Endeavors

According to the plaintiffs, ‘TV Nitro’ was the first IPTV service that Freemon was linked to. This service originally operated as ‘Nitro TV’ between 2019 and 2021. After subsequently going offline for two years, it recently reappeared.

‘Streaming TV Now’ is the most popular IPTV service according to the complaint. It first appeared online in 2020 and offers access to 11,000 live channels, as well as on-demand access to over 27,000 movies and 9,000 TV series.

“Freemon offers customer subscription packages for Streaming TV Now at prices ranging from $20 per month to $150 per year—depending on the package and billing cycle selected. The money goes to Freemon.”

oppen

In addition to offering IPTV packages to the public, the defendant is also accused of recruiting resellers through livetvresellers.com, presumably to expand the reach of his IPTV business.

Warning Leads to Lawsuit

Before taking the matter to court, Amazon, Netflix, and the Hollywood studios sent a letter to the defendant, asking him to stop all infringing activities. However, that didn’t yield the desired response. Instead of taking action, the defendant said he no longer controls the domains.

“Freemon was not cooperative. He did not take down the Infringing Services and instead offered unsubstantiated claims that he transferred the associated domains,” the complaint reads.

“Plaintiffs spent months negotiating with Freemon. Based on the lack of substantial change to the Infringing Services in the intervening times, including that the respective main domains are still hosted with the same hosting provider [Amarutu], Freemon is likely still controlling the Infringing Domains.

“Freemon’s evasiveness is particularly concerning in light of his long history of willful infringement,” the plaintiffs add.

The rightsholders allege that the defendant is liable for copyright infringement, either directly or indirectly. They therefore request a jury trial and appropriate damages.

With 125 movies and TV shows listed in the complaint, maximum statutory damages can be as high as $18 million. The figure could increase further still, as the plaintiffs reserve the right to add more titles.

For now, however, the priority seems to be to end the infringing activity. To that end, Amazon and the other plaintiffs request injunctive relief, including the handover of all infringing domain names and the destruction of all ‘pirate’ hardware.

A copy of the complaint, filed yesterday at the District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Dallas, is available here (pdf)

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Facebook Comments Box

Comments