Court Orders SportsBay to Pay Almost Half a Billion Dollars For Violating DMCA

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In the summer of 2021, DISH Network and Sling filed a copyright lawsuit against four unlicensed sports streaming sites, among them the popular After the plaintiffs named two alleged operators of the sites, this week a court in Texas held the pair liable for almost 2.5 million violations of the DMCA's anti-circumvention provisions and almost half a billion dollars in damages.

lockIn July 2021, U.S. broadcaster DISH Network and subsidiary Sling TV filed a copyright lawsuit in a Texas district court against the unknown operators of four websites –,,, and

The complaint alleged that the unknown defendants circumvented (and provided technologies and services that circumvented) security measures employed by Sling and thereby provided “DISH’s television programming” to users of their websites.

According to the complaint, the defendants circumvented technological measures contrary to 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(1)(A), and trafficked in circumvention technology and services contrary to 17 U.S.C. § 1201(a)(2) through their operation of the websites. The plaintiffs requested a permanent injunction, control of the defendants’ domains, and damages of up to $2,500 for each violation of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions.

Early September 2021, District Judge Charles Eskridge granted DISH’s request to start serving subpoenas on third-party service providers including Namecheap and WhoisGuard, Tucows, Cloudflare, Digital Ocean, Google, Facebook and Twitter, with the aim of identifying the still-unknown operators of the sites. In the same month, the sites listed in the complaint disappeared.

DISH Names Defendants in Argentina

According to DISH’s first amended complaint filed in January 2022, information obtained from the third-party service providers enabled the company to identify two men responsible for operating the SportsBay sites.

Juan Barcan, an individual residing in Buenos Aires, Argentina, used his PayPal account to make payments to Namecheap and GitHub. Juan Nahuel Pereyra, also of Buenos Aires, used his PayPal account to make payments to Namecheap.

On January 20, 2022, DISH sent a request to the Argentine Central Authority to serve Barcan and Pereyra under the Hague Convention.

On October 31, 2022, the Central Authority informed DISH that Pereyra was served in Buenos Aires on September 14, 2022. Barcan was not served so after obtaining permission from the court, DISH served Barcan via a Gmail address used to make payments to Namecheap for the,, and domain names.

When the defendants failed to appear, DISH sought default judgment. As part of that process, the plaintiffs provided the following information to describe the functions of the four websites listed in the complaint.

When Defendants and users selected or clicked on a channel on or, the websites connected to Defendants’ website by embedding in an iframe content originating from a Uniform Resource Locator. The iframe then accessed the encrypted Sling programing originating from Sling’s computer server and delivered it to the embedded iframe on the and websites.

The iframe then connected to Defendants’ server in order to obtain the DRM keys necessary to decrypt the Sling programming so that it was displayed to Defendants and users on the and websites

DISH informed the court that each time a user accessed Sling programming from the links on the websites, “a connection was made with to obtain encryption keys to decrypt Sling’s transmission.”

By framing each visit to the website as a circumvention violation under section 1201(a)(2) of the DMCA, and nominating a six-month period where that domain reportedly received 2,469,250 visits from users in the United States, DISH arrived at a “reasonable and conservative claim” based on minimum statutory damages of just $200 for each violation.

“The Court should grant Plaintiffs’ Motion, award statutory damages in the amount of $493,850,000 for Defendants’ 2,469,250 violations of section 1201(a)(2) of the DMCA, and enter a permanent injunction barring Defendants from further violations,” DISH informed the court.

DISH Awarded Nearly Half a Billion in Damages

In his order handed down yesterday, District Judge Charles Eskridge entered a default judgment against Juan Barcan and Juan Nahuel Pereyra for violations of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions.

The defendants and anyone acting in concert with them are permanently enjoined from circumventing any technological protection measure that controls access to Sling or DISH programming, including through the use of websites or any similar internet streaming service. Then comes the award for damages.

“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,” the order reads.

DISH-half a billion DMCA

The order can be found here (pdf)


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