Netflix, Amazon and Hollywood studios accuse Dragon Media of copyright infringement, sue the Dragon Box streaming device seller
Netflix and Amazon along with several major Hollywood studios like Universal, Columbia, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Dragon Media for facilitating piracy on a huge scale.
Dragon Media, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based company, is accused of offering its Dragon Box, a streaming media box that comes pre-loaded with customized open-source Kodi software, which can be used to access pirated content and facilitate mass copyright infringement.
For those unaware, Kodi is a free and open-source cross-platform software media player and entertainment hub. It works as a centralized media center that allows you to access all of your digital audio, movies, TV shows, music collection and photo library from a single, convenient place. The content can be accessed whenever and wherever you are. You can run it on televisions and set-top boxes and streaming devices.
According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Central District of California, Dragon Media urges their customers to use Dragon Box for watching copyrighted movies and TV shows. It advertises its products by encouraging users to stop paying for authorized subscription services and “Watch your Favourites Anytime For FREE”, “Get rid of your Premium Channels … (and) Stop paying for Netflix and Hulu,” the lawsuit says.
“Dragon Box uses software to link its customers to infringing content on the Internet,” the studios said in their 23-page complaint. “The Dragon Media application provides Defendants’ customers with a customized configuration of the Kodi media player and a curated selection of the most popular addons for accessing infringing content,” the lawsuit states.
“These addons are designed and maintained for the overarching purpose of scouring the Internet for illegal sources of copyrighted content and returning links to that content. When Dragon Box customers click those links, those customers receive unauthorized streams of popular motion pictures and television shows.
“When used as defendants intend and instruct, Dragon Box gives defendants’ customers access to multiple sources that stream plaintiffs’ copyrighted works without authorization,” the complaint added.
The lawsuit further alleges, “The commercial value of Defendants’ Dragon Box business depends on high-volume use of unauthorized content through the Dragon Box devices. Defendants promise their customers reliable and convenient access to all the content they can stream and customers purchase Dragon Box devices based on Defendants’ apparent success in delivering infringing content to their customers.”
The streaming boxes in recent months have become the main target for copyright enforcers, including the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), an anti-piracy partnership between Hollywood studios, Netflix, Amazon, and more than two dozen other companies that have come together to fight piracy around the world.
A similar complaint was filed by the same studios had filed in October last year against TickBox, a company based in Georgia, US, which sells the TickBox TV gadget.
With this lawsuit, the future of Dragon Media has suddenly become uncertain. However, at the time of writing, the Dragon Box website is still active and the company has not yet responded on the accusations.
The lawsuit has named Dragon Media Inc. owner and President Paul Christoforo and Dragon Box device distributor Jeff Williams as the defendants. Further, the movie studios have asked the California District court for an injunction to shut down the infringing service along with an injunction against Dragon Media, Christoforo and Williams, and up to $150,000 in statutory damages.