******* Sites Settle With Movie Companies, Warn Users of Lawsuits

Eleazar Coding

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Oct 10, 2013
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The popular Android-based app ******* is used by millions of people.
It allows users to stream movies and TV shows via torrents and direct sources, all through a Netflix-style interface.
Many of these videos are pirated. This is a thorn in the side of the movie industry, and some companies are doing everything in their power to contain the problem.
Earlier this year a large coalition of independent movie studios, including the makers of Dallas Buyers Club, filed lawsuits against several websites that distributed *******.
In one case, they obtained a subpoena ordering Cloudflare to reveal the identities of the operators behind *******buzz.com, *******.software, Rawapk.com, Popcorn-time.to, ***********.sh, YTS.ag, and YTS.gg.
In a related case, GoDaddy was ordered to reveal the identity of the domain registrant of *******appdownload.com.
These requests for information triggered a response from the operators. On the same day last month, the *******appdownload.com operator and the person who uploaded the app to Rawapk asked the court to quash the subpoena, so they could proceed under a pseudonym.
Before the courts ruled on the matter, both defendants, who could be one and the same, settled their cases. As a result, both cases were dismissed last week without revealing their identities.
The terms of the settlements are not public. However, if we look at the sites in question they no longer link to the ******* app. The ******* file was removed from Rawapk and *******appdownload.com now shows a warning.
The message, which is likely part of the settlement, makes it clear that ******* can be used for infringing purposes. In addition, it warns users that they may be tracked.
“Show Box is NOT a legitimate software platform for viewing Copyright protected movies. If you use *******App to view copyrighted movies, the movie studios may be able to see your IP address and your viewing history,” it begins.
While it’s hard for copyright holders to track pirating users who use ******* to stream from central servers, those who use torrents can indeed get in trouble. The warning makes that pretty clear as well.
“Movie studios are cracking down on illegal downloading and are filing lawsuits against users of ******* app. Websites that promote and/or distribute ******* are also being pursued by the movie studios for promoting illegal activity,” it adds.
Warning

The message is obviously meant to deter visitors from using the app, but there’s some truth to it.
The plaintiffs involved in these case include Bodyguard Productions, Cobbler Nevada, Criminal Productions, Dallas Buyers Club, and Venice PI, which have all sued individual BitTorrent users.
The warning message is not limited to *******download.com either. A similarly worded notice appears on *******buzz.com, which was also targeted in the Cloudflare subpoena earlier.
With the settlements, the cases against two defendants are now over. However, the aforementioned movie companies are not done with ******* yet. They filed an amended complaint which lists the Indian company Galbatross Technologies as one of the main targets.
The movie companies allege that Galbatros, which describes itself as a “performance driven digital marketing agency,” is a driving force behind the *******appdownload.co site that remains online today.
Based on information provided by hosting company Digital Ocean, the movie studios learned that Galbatross operates the website *******.co, which shared a virtual server with *******appdownload.co.
In addition, one of the defendants also admitted that he worked with Galbatros on the site in question.
“Defendant Himanshu Saxena has admitted that Defendants Galbatross, Gaurav Jaggi and he owned, hosted and were involved with *******appdownload.co in an email communication,” the amended complaint reads.
The site itself lists Mark Willow as owner and Andy Crow as the supposed founder of *******.
The movie companies believe that these persons do not exist, at least not to the extent the website describes. There are no records of the associated corporation ******* Inc, they add, noting that the California address doesn’t exist either.
The complaint further lists the website show-box.en.uptodown.com/android as well as several other named defendants, who are all accused of copyright infringement through their involvement with the ******* app.
The movie companies hope that the lawsuit will put a dent in *******’s popularity. They want the sites to shut down and hope to recoup some of the claimed damages as well.
And perhaps they’ll put up more warnings too.

A copy of the proposed amended complaint, which has yet to be accepted by the court, is available here (pdf).

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Source: TorrentFreak