Kudelski Group Scores Major Piracy Win

Kudelski Group, owners of forensic watermarking technology NexGuard, made a major anti-piracy announcement at IBC: a U.S. District Court has ordered China’s Zhuhai Gotech Intelligent Technology Co. (Gotech) and its associated companies to pony up statutory damages of $101 million, for manufacturing and selling pirate devices and services. The damages are a result of more than half a million individual infringements.

Gotech targeted all major conditional access providers and was enabling illegal content distribution, according to the ruling, and it was Kudelski Security’s anti-piracy intelligence work that proved critical in nailing Gotech.

“The pleasure that billions of people around the world get from television every day is dependent on the ability of the legitimate value chain to capture fair value for its hard work,” said Frederic Guitard, VP of media security services for Kudelski Security. “When pirates illegally divert the flow of money away from legitimate content creators and distributors, the whole industry and ultimately the end consumer will suffer. That’s why it’s our mission to identify and manage piracy on behalf of our customers, even as it continues to evolve and morph on a daily basis.”

The case, filed by content protection company NAGRA, alleged Gotech’s technologies and services were designed to circumvent content protection technologies, with the company manufacturing and distributing unauthorized set-top boxes, under brand names including Globalsat, AZAmerica, NAZABox, Captiveworks and Limesat. The company also operated Internet Key Sharing (IKS) servers in the United States, violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and the Federal Communications Act.

“The court accepts as true the … well-pleaded allegations in NAGRA’s amended complaint,“ wrote U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Hoyt.

“We have demonstrated in our security labs that Gotech has impacted every major conditional access system (CAS) and is also providing an illegal content sharing solution, impacting pay-TV operators everywhere,” said Maurice van Riek, SVP and head of content and asset security for NAGRA. “We appreciate that the damage caused by the wrongdoing of Gotech has been recognized by the judge and that the court has ordered Gotech to stop harming our industry with their products and practices.”