CASBAA, the Asian association of the pay-TV industry, has lauded Indian police action in breaking up a ring of streaming-TV pirates and arresting four conspirators in Hyderabad. The activities of the ring were aimed at diverting the signals of Indian pay-TV broadcasters onto the Internet, and retransmitting their signals globally to hundreds of thousands of viewers who paid for a ‘Jadoo TV’ streaming media box.
“Congratulations and kudos to the Hyderabad police Cyber Crime wing,” said CASBAA CEO Christopher Slaughter. “We are pleased that Indian authorities will not accept that the hard work of Indian creators, artists, and production teams is stolen with impunity and spread around the world for the benefit of criminal syndicates.”
Industry sources reported that the premises in the Secunderabad area raided by police contained equipment for intercepting more than a hundred TV channels. These were streamed free to customers overseas who purchased Jadoo TV boxes costing between $250 and $300. CASBAA Chief Policy Officer John Medeiros pointed out that the boxes are cleverly designed to maintain ‘deniability’ for copyright violations, and foist the responsibility onto ostensible ‘users’ in far-flung parts of the world.
“This is a great example of piracy masquerading as ‘user-generated content’ said Medeiros, “but the good police work in India has unveiled the business end of this syndicate, where the content was being stolen.”
According to CASBAA, the arrests highlight a worldwide problem of narrow laws that make it possible for international piracy syndicates to avoid prosecution. “Governments need to take a stand against these scams,” said Medeiros. “It’s going to take serious attention to updating and tightening old-style copyright laws that no longer suit the digital age.”
“Now all those consumers who paid for a Jadoo box having been assured they could watch Indian content have been left holding the bag,” said Medeiros. CASBAA continues to warn consumers everywhere that dodgy TV boxes are a bad deal for consumers, and their broadcasts are susceptible to interruption at any time.
“If you’re seeing a deal that is too good to be true,” Medeiros said, “it’s not likely to last.” CASBAA points out that there are plenty of legal sources for high-quality Indian content, said, and consumers should contact their local pay-TV suppliers to learn about them. Indian content is also available legally over the Internet through new and growing OTT platforms.