Dragon Media, which manufacturers a streaming video device, could soon find itself under court order to refrain from encouraging consumers to view pirated videos.
The company was sued nearly one year ago by Netflix, Amazon and a group of Hollywood studios for allegedly inducing infringement by using software that allows consumers to easily access copyrighted videos. Like TickBox and Set TV, which were also sued by the studios, Dragon uses Kodi -- open-source software that enables people to play video.
When the studios filed suit, they said they were seeking monetary damages and an injunction requiring Dragon to refrain from inducing copyright infringement.
But the studios didn't seek an immediate restraining order that would have taken effect instantly. Last week, however, the studios returned to court to ask for that type of instantaneous order.
Amazon and the others now allege that they didn't previously seek a restraining order because Dragon's initial response to the lawsuit was to stop selling the streaming devices and to promise to “either shut down the Dragon Box service or operate a lawful business.”
Dragon broke this promise, according to Amazon and the studios. “Despite their representations, Defendants have resumed what they have touted as a 'multi-million dollar' business of enticing prospective purchasers to use Dragon Box devices to get free access to infringing content for which they otherwise would have to pay,” the studios wrote.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald in the Central District of California rejected the studios' request for an immediate restraining order, ruling that the studios waited too long to seek that kind of order.
But Fitzgerald ordered Dragon Media to respond to the studios' argument next week, and said he will consider issuing an injunction early next year, before the case goes to trial.
In a written opinion issued late last week, Fitzgerald suggested that a pre-trial injunction may be warranted, writing that the studios "have made a strong showing” in support of that type of order.
He scheduled the matter for a hearing on January 9.
Earlier this year, TickBox TV agreed to pay $25 million to settle a similar lawsuit. The company also consented to an injunction that prohibits it from presenting users with options to download add-ons that enable people to stream unlicensed movies or TV shows.