$31m piracy penalty for ChitramTV
November 17, 2021
By Colin Mann
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas has entered a Judgment and Injunction against ChitramTV, a popular South Asian pirate IPTV service. The Court found that ChitramTV wilfully infringed 207 registered copyrighted works and imposed the maximum statutory penalty of $150,000 (€132,567) per work, $31,050,000 in total.
The Federal Court in Texas ordered registries and registrars to transfer current and future domains related to the operation and sales of the ChitramTV service, including domains used to sell or promote set-top boxes and subscriptions.
Furthermore, the injunction prohibits all resellers from distributing, selling, or promoting the ChitramTV service or any set-top boxes related to the service. Lastly, the Court enjoined all third-party providers such as hosting companies and CDNs from providing services to ChitramTV.
The lawsuit against ChitramTV was coordinated The International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP), a coalition of leading international broadcasters and distributors and filed in March 2021, by its member company, DISH Network, after numerous cease and desist notices were ignored. The news follows IBCAP’s recent announcements of lawsuits against iStar IPTV service, DesiTV, and dealers of those services.
“We are very pleased with this legal victory as it will enable us and our members to shut down one of the most popular South Asian pirate services operating in the US,” declared Chris Kuelling, executive director of IBCAP. “The injunctions imposed, along with the transfer of current and future domains associated with ChitramTV, will have a devastating effect on ChitramTV and any dealer selling ChitramTV. A dealer that continues to sell ChitramTV after receiving notice of the injunction will be in contempt of the Court’s order and liable for further damages. Dealers should be aware that it’s not worth risking their business by selling pirate IPTV services,” he warned.