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Owners of the popular sports streaming website SportsBay have been ordered to pay DISH & Sling TV over 490 million dollars.
This comes after a court ruling in a Texas District Court on August 14, 2023.
SportsBay, as its name implies, is a “sister” website of the most popular torrent site of all time, The Pirate Bay.
However, SportsBay was known for providing live streaming content including live sporting events at no cost to the consumer.
In July 2021, DISH Network and Sling TV filed a copyright lawsuit against the operators of four websites including:
In the lawsuit, DISH & Sling alleged that the owners of these sites circumvented security measures to access television programming without consent.
This programming was then rebroadcasted on the websites shown above for viewers across the world to access sports content absolutely free.
One issue with the lawsuit, however, is that the owners of these websites at the time were entirely unknown.
In September 2021, District Judge Charles Eskridge granted a request from DISH to subpoena website hosting sites and more to identify the website operators.
This subpoena ultimately resulted in two residents of Buenos Aires, Argentina being linked to these websites – Juan Nahuel Pereyra and Juan Barcan.
In 2022, both individuals were served by Argentinian Authorities with the lawsuit from DISH/Sling and required to appear in court.
When both failed to appear, a default judgment was given to the Plaintiffs for statutory damages.
These damages originally asked for $2,500 for each violation of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention policy which occurred over a six-month period.
In the United States, these websites received 2,469,250 visits from users which would have resulted in a judgment of over $6 billion.
However, DISH ultimately asked for a “reasonable and conservative claim” payment of only $200 for each violation.
District Judge Charles Eskridge made his decision on August 14 agreeing with DISH/Sling and awarding the companies over $490 million.
Plaintiffs are awarded $493,850,000 in statutory damages against Defendants, jointly and severally, for Defendants’ 2,469,250 violations of section 1201(a)(2) of the DMCA.
He also noted that the operators can no longer broadcast content controlled by the Defendants.
Defendants, and all other persons acting in active concert or participation with any of the foregoing that receives actual notice of the order, are permanently enjoined from:
a) circumventing a DRM or any other technological protection measure that
controls access to Sling or DISH programming, including through the use of websites or
any similar internet streaming service;
b) manufacturing, offering to the public, providing, or otherwise trafficking in
any technologies, products, or services, including through the use of websites providing
pirated content, or any other service, technology, product, device, component, website, or
This is a massive win for DISH/Sling TV after a long drawn-out legal process that ultimately took over two years.
However, it will be interesting to see if the defendants in this case actually pay the damages of nearly half a billion dollars or not.
You can find the official judgment from the Texas District Court by CLICKING HERE.
This story was originally published by TorrentFreak.
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