Omniverse Says It's Shutting Down After Piracy Suit, Seeks Mediation

Omniverse One World Television, which was sued earlier this year for allegedly providing pirated video to other companies, says in new court papers that it is shutting down.

“Defendants have ceased operations and are unwinding Omniverse’s business operation as Omniverse is going out of business,” lawyers for the company and its CEO, Jason DeMeo, state in court papers filed Monday with U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee in the Central District of California.

The move comes about six months after a group of Hollywood studios sued Omniverse and DeMeo for allegedly distributing streams of movies and television shows to services like the defunct Dragon Box, which enabled consumers to stream copyrighted programs.

Omniverse and DeMeo are asking Gee to compel mediation, stating that settlement talks have stalled because the studios want the company to make admissions.



“The parties have exchanged drafts of a stipulated judgment, but the parties reached an impasse when plaintiffs demanded that defendants admit to what amounts to egregious conduct in exchange for settlement,” lawyers for Omniverse and DeMeo write. “Defendants fear plaintiffs intend to use such a stipulated judgment as part of a criminal investigation against defendants.”

It wasn't immediately clear Tuesday whether law enforcement is actually investigating the company. 

Even though Omniverse told Gee it's shuttering, DeMeo recently suggested that he plans to launch a new company, OSTV Now, that will offer streaming video, according to the publication Light Reading.

An attorney for DeMeo and Omniverse didn't respond to MediaPost's request for comment.

In their complaint against Omniverse, the studios alleged that the company and DeMeo "function as a 'hub' of sorts, with the enlisted downstream services as the 'spokes.'"

Earlier this year, Dragon Box settled a copyright infringement lawsuit by agreeing to a $14.5-million judgment, and to a permanent injunction prohibiting it from infringing copyright. While that matter was still in litigation, a Dragon Box official said Omniverse's DeMeo represented that he had licenses to stream copyrighted material, according to the studios.

Omniverse initially responded to the studios' lawsuit by stating that it "disagrees with the substance and the specifics of the allegations" against it.

DeMeo also denied any wrongdoing to LightReading. "Everyone is framing me as some sort of pirate... when I'm 100% compliant with what I'm supposed to do," DeMeo reportedly said. 

In May, Omniverse said it would stop offering services to “single dwelling residential customers.”

At the time, the company indicated it would attempt to remain in business. “Omniverse continues to believe that its live television service to multi dwelling unit operators is an attractive and economic offering and will continue working with those partners to service the customer segment,” the company stated at the time.

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