Illegal pirating sites have long co-existed alongside streaming platforms, and yet a recent report has stated that Disney and Netflix, amongst other major studios, have banded together and filed a lawsuit against two illegal streaming sites, resulting in a fine of $30 million and the end of their business.
As per The Hollywood Reporter, defendant Dwayne Johnson (nope, not Black Adam's The Rock) has settled with a $30 million fine after getting sued for infringing on their copyrights. The $30 million settlement goes to the listed studios in the complaint and Johnson getting banned from operating piracy services.
Johnson operated AllAccessTV (AATV) and Quality Restream, in which he managed to sell subscriptions to numerous copyrighted movies and TV shows including Harry Potter and Jurassic Park movies.
The subscriptions allowed users to gain access to major shows and films on HBO, Cinemax, and NBC for a payment of $25 a month (an extra $15 for a premium option to access VOD content), wherein customers could also download the platforms on their devices.
Disney, Netflix, and Universal originally filed the lawsuit way back in December 2021, with Warner Bros., Paramount, Apple, and others following after. The settlement was finally put down this March 27th.
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According to the suit, Johnson was well aware that what he was committing was illegal, in which it was pointed out to "concerted efforts to conceal the unlawful enterprise". Johnson allegedly earned $3 million in annual revenue, under the pretense he was selling VPN software to hide the fact he was actually selling pirated content subscriptions.
Considering that streaming platforms have long been in heated competition with one another, leading to subscribers struggling to pay the monthly fee, Disney, Netflix, and other major sites are in for another massive problem of competing with pirated websites, which, in different case scenarios, could be obtained and streamed at no charge at all, depending on the site viewers end up finding on Google.
If the copyright infringement was proven willfully committed, then the copyright owner is entitled to statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work.
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