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In its latest effort to combat piracy further, US pay-TV operator DISH has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the Loolbox streaming device, which unlawfully retransmits numerous Arabic TV channels. The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas and names Defendants Lool Tech Co., Limited and Shenzhen Bilinren Technology Co., Ltd., d/b/a Shenzhen Lool Tech Co., Ltd.
As outlined in the complaint, makers of the Loolbox device are capturing broadcasts of Arabic television channels that are licensed exclusively to DISH in the United States, including Al Jazeera Arabic News, MBC1, MBC Drama and MBC Kids. The Defendants then unlawfully retransmit those channels to consumers who have purchased the Loolbox set-top box.
Consumers access the channels through a feature on Loolbox called ‘Live TV’, which is used to retransmit programming over the Internet to users in real time, nearly simultaneously with the content’s original authorised transmission. Loolbox achieves this in several ways, including by capturing signals of the channels without authorisation and using a peer-to-peer network to distribute the signal to other users.
“Loolbox profits by stealing our signal and selling it to consumers, while using those same consumers’ home Internet to further transmit our programming to additional consumers,” said Fares Akkad, head of distribution and digital business development, MBC Group. “While the Loolbox may seem like an attractive deal, it is a scam that consumers should avoid if they want programming that is high-quality, reliable and legal. We commend DISH for their efforts to combat piracy and provide consumers with an affordable, viable source of entertainment.”
Earlier in 2016, DISH and several programmers filed a suit against makers of the h.tv device for unlawful transmission of Chinese programming. DISH also filed a lawsuit against Greek content provider Ellas TV alleging that it and its owner obtained a DISH satellite receiver and proceeded to redistribute DISH’s Sport Plus channel to Ellas TV’s own streaming television service without authorisation.
The International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP) – a coalition of leading international broadcasters organised to prevent unauthorised streaming and illegal distribution of international television content – praised DISH for its filing. “This lawsuit is important as it shows that service providers such as DISH will not tolerate piracy of television content,” said Chris Kuelling, Executive Director of IBCAP. “We stand with DISH as it takes this critical step to fight illegal activity in court.”