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Disney and major studios get $30 million from illegal streaming sites amid piracy

A coalition of top movie and TV studios has secured a $30 million judgment against the operator of two illegal streaming sites.

The studios and defendant Dwayne Johnson (no relation to the actor) agreed to settle the lawsuit in a deal that prohibits him from continuing to operate a service that allows users to copy movies, according to court documents filed March 27. have been submitted.

Universal, Disney and Netflix sued Johnson in December 2021 for copyright infringement. Universal, Warner Bros., Paramount and Apple, among others, also joined the lawsuit.

The scale of piracy, according to the complaint, was “enormous”. Johnson operated two services, AllAccessTV (AATV) and Quality Restreams, which sold subscriptions to copyrighted movies and TV shows, including the Harry Potter And Jurassic Park movies too The office — through thousands of live channels and video-on-demand offerings. The live channel feed allowed users to access major networks such as HBO, Cinemax, and NBC. Consumers could download the platforms on their devices.

The settlement comes as studios and production companies increasingly sue entities for copyright violations arising from illegally streaming content. In September, a trio of lawsuits were filed by Voltage Pictures and other copyright owners against Internet service providers for refusing to evict customers who repeatedly illegalized their films. Copyright is the weapon of choice for intellectual property owners who are increasingly asserting their proprietary rights to combat illegal streaming.

Subscriptions include VOD access for an additional $15 per month on top of the $25 monthly base plan. It organized content into various categories, including the streaming services on which the movies and TV shows aired.

The lawsuit alleged that Johnson knew his conduct was illegal. It pointed to “joint efforts to hide the illegitimate venture” by using a site that claims to sell VPN software, but in fact sells subscriptions to its services. If copyright is intentionally violated, the owner is entitled to legal damages of up to $150,000 per work infringed.

According to the complaint, Johnson reportedly generated $3 million in annual revenue from AATV.

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