Federal Court Enters Permanent Injunction Against Sonicview IKS Dongles and Awards $14.4M in Damages
On July 19, 2011, the United States District Court for the Southern District of California entered a permanent injunction against former Sonicview employee Chris Whitcomb and his business ProSonicview. Whitcomb used his ProSonicview business as a “dealer” of various Sonicview related products and was sued by DISH Network, EchoStar Technologies and NagraStar earlier this year after he ignored a prior preliminary injunction barring the Sonicview iHub dongle. Whitcomb attempted to re-package the iHub and sell it under the names “SV-Lan” and “NewLink”. Earlier in the case the court granted DISH Network‘s preliminary injunction finding that DISH Network was likely to prevail on the DMCA and Communications Act claims asserting these devices were primarily designed for piracy.
The Court’s July 19 Order entered a permanent injunction against further piracy-related sales by Whitcomb – including sales of the Sonicview iHub, SV-Lan and New Link. The Court also ordered Whitcomb to destroy all remaining inventory of these piracy products and to verify the destruction under oath with the Court within 60 days. Finally, the Court assessed statutory damages against Whitcomb under the Communications Act and awarded DISH Network $10,000 per device sold totaling $14.4 Million.
Dish Network, EchoStar, NagraStar, and Bell ExpressVu obtained permanent injunctions against Andrew Genovese a.k.a. “ANDREWY3K” a.k.a. “N3XTGEN” a.k.a. “GGENOV0571″ of Ontario, Canada, who operated the piracy forum web site FTABins. The permanent injunctions were part of a settlement of claims that the companies asserted against Genovese in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The permanent injunctions prevent Genovese from operating the FTABins web site or any other piracy web site, and otherwise participating in, or aiding and abetting others engaged in, piracy activities. For several years, the FTABins web site was a popular piracy forum web site. The settlement represents another major victory in the companies’ continuing efforts to combat piracy.
On June 2, 2011, the United States Federal Court for the Western District of Wisconsin entered a Preliminary Injunction against the website www.aaafta.com and the site’s owner and co-Defendant Mark Bender. The Court’s Order required Defendants and all domain hosts to “immediately cease making the www.aaafta.com website and its contents available on the internet by taking the website and its contents offline, and to immediately freeze, preserve…the website and its contents” effecting a virtual seizure and impoundment of the site pending final resolution of the case. DISH Network, EchoStar Technologies and NagraStar filed suit against Bender and the website on April 28, 2011 for the site’s distribution of piracy-related software files and support. The Court previously granted NagraStar’s motion for a Temporary Restraining Order and virtual seizure of the aaafta.com site on May 13, 2011. NagraStar and DISH continue to investigate online sites and forums which promotes unauthorized reception of the DISH Network signal.
On May 25, 2011, the United States District Court for the Central District of California entered a consent Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction against Warren Scheibe, www.nFusionOnline.com and Scheibe’s distribution companies Forward Motion Products, LLC and Forward Motion, Inc. DISH Network, NagraStar and EchoStar Technologies filed suit against Scheibe and his companies in June 2010 for their role in the marketing and distribution of nFusion-brand receivers and components. The Court’s Order enjoins defendants from marketing or distributing similar devices in the future and awarded DISH Network and NagraStar a judgment in the amount of twenty five million ($25,000,000) against the distribution companies. Scheibe has also forfeited Defendants’ substantial remaining nFusion inventory to NagraStar for destruction, as well as turning over the various nFusion-related websites used for marketing and online product sales. The Court’s permanent injunction further prevents Defendants from any future assistance in circumvention which will carry a statutory penalty of up to $110,000.00 per violation.
NagraStar has recently initiated very successful efforts to investigate and prosecute end-users for the theft of DISH Network programming. Evidence obtained by NagraStar through their investigations of unlawful activities by upstream dealers and prosecutions of distributors of piracy related hardware and software, is being used to assert claims against downstream end-users. NagraStar takes any attempt at the circumvention of their technology and customers’ subscription-based television services very seriously and is committed to taking all available legal action against offenders, whether they are coders, product distributors, website operators or downstream end-users. NagraStar remains willing to work with anyone who has knowledge or evidence of any such individuals or businesses.