Last year, American satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network targeted two well-known players in the third-party Kodi add-on ecosystem.
In a complaint filed in a federal court in Texas, add-on ZemTV and the TVAddons library were accused of copyright infringement. As a result, both are facing up to $150,000 in damages for each offense.
While the case was filed in Texas, neither of the defendants live there, or even in the United States. The owner and operator of TVAddons is Adam Lackman, who resides in Montreal, Canada. ZemTV’s developer Shahjahan Durrani is even further away in London, UK.
According to the legal team of the two defendants, this limited connection to Texas is reason for the case to be dismissed. They filed a motion to dismiss in January, asking the court to drop the case.
“Lackman and Durrani have never been residents or citizens of Texas; they have never owned property in Texas; they have never voted in Texas; they have never personally visited Texas; they have never directed any business activity of any kind to anyone in Texas […] and they have never earned income in Texas,” the motion reads.
Dish saw things differently, however. The broadcast provider replied to the motion, submitting hundreds of pages of evidence documenting TVAddons and ZemTV’s ties to the United States.
Among other things, Dish pointed the court towards TVAddons own data, which showed that most of its users came from the United States. More than one-third of the total user base were American, it argued.
“The United States was Defendants’ largest market with approximately 34% of all TV Addons traffic coming from users located in the United States, which was three times the traffic from the second largest market.”
Late last week District Court Judge Vanessa Gilmore ruled on the motion to dismiss from both defendants, which is denied.
At the time of writing, there is no additional information available as to how Judge Gilmore reached her decision. However, it is clear that the case will now move forward.
This lawsuit is one of several related to Kodi-powered pirate steaming boxes. While TVAddons and ZemTV didn’t sell any fully loaded boxes directly, Dish argues that they both played a significant role in making copyright-infringing content available.
Earlier this year, the manufacturer of the streaming device DragonBox was sued in a separate case by Netflix, Amazon and several major Hollywood studios.
A few days ago Dragon Media denied all piracy allegations in the complaint, but the lawsuit remains ongoing. The same is true for a related case against Tickbox, another Kodi-powered box manufacturer.