Movie Studios Sue Omniverse Over Streaming Video Piracy

A coalition of movie studios is suing Omniverse One World Television for allegedly supplying companies like Dragon Box -- which recently settled copyright infringement claims -- with pirated video.

Omniverse and its CEO, Jason DeMeo, “transmit streams of unauthorized movies and television programs ... to numerous downstream services,” the studios allege in papers filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. “Those services, through either a streaming set-top box or a software application, provide unauthorized streaming content directly to end consumers.”

The studios add that Omniverse recruits Dragon Box and similar companies “into the illicit market” by providing them with access to streaming video.

“Defendants function as a 'hub' of sorts, with the enlisted downstream services as the 'spokes,'” the studios allege. “Omniverse’s offering is illegal, it is growing, and it undermines the legitimate market for licensed services.”

Omniverse says on its website that it “partners with key distributors across the USA to empower end users with the ability to view their favorite TV channels.”

But the studios say they have not granted licenses to Omniverse that would allow it to “sublicense streams” to outside companies.

The complaint against Omniverse came just weeks after the studios settled a copyright infringement lawsuit against Dragon Box over allegations that the company encouraged piracy. Dragon Box agreed to a $14.5 million judgment, and to a permanent injunction prohibiting it from infringing copyright.

While that matter was in litigation, a Dragon Box official said Omniverse's DeMeo represented that he had licenses to stream copyrighted material, according to the studios.

Omniverse responded to the lawsuit this week by stating it “disagrees with the substance and the specifics of the allegations” against it.

The company added that it “intends to engage quickly and constructively with the plaintiffs and their legal counsel to resolve their concerns with Omniverse's business and where possible support them in their greater goal of eliminating piracy from our industry.”

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