Anti-Piracy

Major Studios, Streamers Win Early Battle in War with TickBox (Hollywood Reporter)

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Major Hollywood studios and streamers won an early battle in a copyright fight with TickBox on Tuesday. A California federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against the streaming device manufacturer to pause further potential infringement while the litigation plays out.

Universal, Columbia, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., Amazon and Netflix in October sued TickBox, claiming the company’s hardware allows mass infringement of their copyrighted works — including access to titles that weren’t yet available for legitimate in-home viewing.

U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction that orders TickBox to maintain certain changes it made to its user interface and advertising after the studios sued.

Fitzgerald weighed the studios’ likelihood of success on the merits of the claim, analyzing the device-maker’s argument that it shouldn’t be liable for the third-party conduct. TickBox argues it only offers hardware, on which users can “voluntarily install legitimate or illegitimate software,” and that access to the infringing content came from downloadable “themes” that it didn’t create. The court wasn’t persuaded.