My take: First they cut out the pirates and the edge access to free information – then they move to censor everyone. The law does not exist to protect you, so much as it exists to protect money and the interests of the powerful.
TorrentFreak by Andy Maxwell / May 02, 2022 at 03:30AM
Earlier this year, producer and cinema investor Moshe Edery fired warning shots across the bows of Mastercard, Visa and American Express for continuing to provide payment processing to pirate streaming sites.
Edery, the co-founder of Screen iL, an international TV streaming platform aimed at Israelis living abroad, said the companies must be aware that pirate sites are involved in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. The suggestion was that by continuing to do business with them, the payment companies should also expect legal action against them.
While that would be a first in anti-piracy enforcement, several Edery-related companies have just won three separate copyright lawsuits in the United States. The judgments and injunctions not only break new ground in the United States but might also represent one of the most significant anti-piracy wins of the century.
Edery-Affiliated Companies Sued Pirate Sites in 2021
Last year, companies including United King Film Distribution, DBS Satellite Services, and Hot Communication filed three copyright infringement lawsuits in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Each complaint targeted a specific pirate streaming site – Israel-tv.com, Israel.tv and Sdarot.tv – the latter being Israel’s most popular pirate streaming site with millions of visitors each month.
At least in broad terms, the lawsuits were relatively unremarkable. They followed traditional lines by demanding $150,000 in statutory damages for every copyrighted work infringed and an injunction to prevent infringement moving forward. From the beginning it seemed highly unlikely that the operators of these sites would turn up in court to defend themselves, meaning that a win for the plaintiffs in these cases was never really in doubt.
Late last week, the plaintiffs won all three lawsuits via default judgments. The court ordered the operators of Israel-tv.com, Israel.tv and Sdarot.tv to each pay $7,650,000 in statutory copyright infringement damages related to 51 registered works owned by the plaintiffs.
While almost $23 million in damages isn’t an inconsiderable amount, the injunctions handed down in all three cases are something never seen before in a TV/movie piracy case.