April 17, 2021

Cryptheory

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U.S. Court Awards DISH Network Statutory Damages of $16.8 Million

2 min read

  • DISH has won a huge statutory damage compensation order, but it’s unlikely to receive any money.
  • The defendant lives in Pakistan and will most certainly never lay foot in the United States anyway.
  • The win for DISH is a comprehensive permanent injunction order which will block pirating websites in the US.

DISH Network has done it again, winning an impressive court order that awards them a jaw-dropping amount of $16.8 million in statutory damages. Moreover, the Texan court that handed down the judgment has also included a permanent injunction against the websites belonging to the defendant, Nauman Khalid, a resident of Pakistan.

The man has not participated in the suit, so the plaintiff’s motion was granted following the default judgment path.

The websites operated by Nauman and which were listed in the motion include:

  • Freetvall.com
  • Freetvall.net
  • Freetvall.me
  • Freetvall.xyz
  • Freetvall.live
  • Livetvcafe.com
  • Livetvcafe.net
  • Livetvcafe.me
  • Time4tv.com
  • Time4tv.net
  • Time4tv.me
  • Cricket-tv.net
  • Cricket-tv.me
  • Tv4embed.com
  • A1livetv.com

These websites rebroadcasted DISH’s channels in the United States (among others) without a license. DISH notified Khalid at least 49 times over several years, warning him that he was infringing exclusive rights and should stop immediately, but the defendant never replied to these messages.

The service providers of the above websites received an equal amount of notices, and some of them did remove the infringing content as a response. Khalid wasn’t deterred, though, and simply bounced to a different provider.

The court has decided that the infringements were all committed willfully and has awarded statutory damages of $150,000 per work, which is the maximum possible. Khalid’s websites were active for five to nine years. The channels that were broadcasted through them had been collectively accessed by viewers 5.5 million times, which is another factor that played a key role in awarding the maximum possible compensation.

Since DISH pursued damages for 112 works registered with the US Copyrights Office, the final amount is $16.8 million. DISH could have added more works to the list. Still, considering that the amount is already satisfactory and Nauman Khalid is unlikely to pay anything, the main point here was securing permanent injunctions in the United States.

The order will now oblige registries and registrars to disable all domain names used by the defendant, making them inaccessible to the public within 48 hours of receiving a relevant notice from DISH. That said, if you’re in the US and used to visit the websites on the above list, you should already not be able to find them online anymore. The court order covers domain hosting, servers, data centers, registration, proxy services, CDNs, advertisers, and even social media, so it’ll be next to impossible for Khalid to bounce anywhere now.

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