In 2019, DISH Network sued the alleged operators of IPTV service IPGuys, which was popular among ‘pirate’ users. If the case had gone to trial, a jury might have awarded millions in damages, but after more than two years of litigation, a judge has given just $14,000 and denied an injunction.
In August 2019, DISH Network and partner NagraStar continued to fight against websites that stream without permission. Each side continued their success. They filed a lawsuit against the IPTV platform’s operators, IPGuys, a popular TV streaming service that sold subscriptions through a network of resellers.
The claim accused Tomasz Kaczmarek, a resident of Canada, of purchasing DISH satellite feeds and retransmitting them via the IPGuys service. It also named John and Julia Defoe, a couple living in New York, who were charged with creating and maintaining DISH subscription accounts that were used to provide material to the IPGuys service. According to DISH, seven of the so-called “seeder accounts” (the formal subscriptions that allegedly provided the material to IPGuys) shared one or more credit cards as a source of payment, and all had either the same passwords or password hints. A person used the same credit card to pay for twenty additional DISH subscriber accounts that were made with false information. One of those twenty accounts had the name “John Defoe” on it, and Kaczmarek sent Julia Defoe tens of thousands of dollars. DISH claimed a total of $2.5 million in damages for each violation of the Federal Communications Act, which was equivalent to the number of pirate subscriptions sold by IPGuys (estimated at 12,731). It has been nearly two years since DISH started to sue people. Things have not gone their way.
Defoes responded to the complaints. but Kaczmarek did not respond.
In response to the DISH lawsuit, the Defoes denied most of the claims and claimed not to be competent enough to answer the rest in late October 2019. In June 2020, the Defoes’ attorney requested that he withdraw from the case, citing irreconcilable differences with his clients. In February 2021, the case appeared to be losing momentum, and in June 2021, DISH sought a default judgment. The matter was referred to Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara, who ruled in favor of DISH’s request for dismissal of the complaint on the grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction in June 2021. Judge Bulsara also said that a default judgment should be entered against the Defoes. The judgment will give them $7,000- this is only a small amount of what DISH wants.
DISH has lodged an objection Against Judge Bulsara.
In July, DISH filed an appeal against the judge’s finding. The court did not have jurisdiction over Kaczmarek and the judge was wrong about how much he owed us for his mistake. In a memorandum and order, US District Judge Eric Komitee has now sweetened things for DISH somewhat but nowhere near the level that the broadcaster desired.
DISH Was Given a Judgment in its Favor, Without an Injunction
In conclusion, the court dismissed Kaczmarek’s case for lack of personal jurisdiction, and it ruled that the Defoes were in violation of the Federal Communications Act. He ordered the pair to pay $14,000 in damages, but he refused to hand down a permanent injunction.