SVoDs, studios file Setvnow complaint
April 23, 2018
By Colin Mann
SVoD operators Amazon and Netflix have joined with Columbia, Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal City Studios, Universal Cable, Universal Television and Warner Bros to file a lawsuit against OTT service Set Broadcast, claiming it markets and sell subscriptions to Setvnow, a software application that is used as a tool for the mass infringement of copyrighted motion pictures and television shows.
The complaint alleges that Setvnow gives its customers access to sources that stream copyrighted works without authorisation, with the streams representing illegal public performances of copyrighted works.
“For the customers who use Setvnow, the service provides hallmarks of using authorised streaming services—a user-friendly interface and reliable access to popular content—but with a notable exception: the customers only pay money to Defendants, not to Plaintiffs and other content creators upon whose copyrighted works Defendants’ business depends. Plaintiffs bring this action to stop Defendants’ intentional inducement of, and knowing and material contribution to, the widespread infringement of Plaintiffs’ rights,” says the complaint, filed in the United States District Court Central District of California, Western Division, seeking a jury trial.
“Plaintiffs have not authorised Defendants, the operators of the sources to which Setvnow links, or Defendants’ customers, to exercise any of Plaintiffs’ exclusive rights under the Copyright Act,” says the complaint, adding that “Defendants’ customers use Setvnow for intended and unquestionably infringing purposes, most notably to obtain immediate, unrestricted, and unauthorised access to unauthorised streams of Plaintiffs’ Copyrighted Works.”
The complaint suggests that “Defendants advertise Setvnow as a substitute for authorised and legitimate distribution channels such as cable television or video-on-demand services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. Defendants urge Setvnow customers to stream infringing content. Defendants tell customers in promotional videos that customers can ‘start enjoying live TV and videos on demand easily and conveniently’, and that Setvnow will ‘provide the on-demand television shows and movies that you were looking for’.”
“As a direct and proximate result of the infringement that Defendants intentionally induce, Plaintiffs are entitled to damages and Defendants’ profits in amounts to be proven at trial,” says the lawsuit.