In their latest bid to combat online piracy, Netflix and Amazon have joined hands with several major Hollywood studios like Universal, Columbia, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount and Warner Bros – to file a lawsuit against Dragon Media Inc, for facilitating piracy on a huge scale.
Together, these companies on Wednesday filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against Dragon Media, which offers a set-top box called ‘Dragon Box’ that comes pre-loaded with customized open-source Kodi software and can be used to access pirated content.
“Dragon Box uses software to link its customers to infringing content on the Internet. The Dragon Media application provides Defendants’ customers with a customized configuration of the Kodi media player and a curated selection of the most popular add-ons for accessing infringing content,” the studios alleged in a complaint.
Much of the complaint focuses on the way Dragon markets its box to consumers. The companies allege that Dragon explicitly advertises its device as a substitute for cable TV, Amazon Prime, and Netflix. They encourage users to stop paying for authorized subscription services.
In fact, the defendants distribute and promote the Dragon Box as a pirate tool, using phrases such as “Get rid of your Premium Channels,” “Watch your Favourites Anytime For FREE” and “Stop paying for Netflix and Hulu.”
Kodi software, though not illegal, allows developers to produce third-party add-ons that provide free access to pirated and illegal content. The UK government has already asked Kodi users to get rid of any add-ons that let them stream premium content, like paid-for films, TV shows, and live sports for free.
This legal action against Dragon Media follows a similar lawsuit made by the same studios in October last year, where they all sued Tickbox, a company based in Georgia, which sells the TickBox TV gadget.