ENGLEWOOD, Colo., LOS ANGELES, NORWALK, Calif. (March 19, 2015) — DISH and the leading providers of Chinese-language TV programming have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California to halt unauthorized digital streaming and distribution of Chinese television programs in the United States.
Joining DISH as plaintiffs are China Central Television (CCTV), China International Communications Co., Ltd. (CICC), and TVB Holdings (USA), Inc. (TVB USA). CCTV is the largest television broadcaster in mainland China, and TVB USA’s parent company, Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), is the largest television broadcaster in Hong Kong. DISH holds certain rights to transmit CCTV and TVB television programming in the United States.
The lawsuit was filed against manufacturers and distributors of the “TVpad” device and service for, among other things, allegedly setting up a pirate broadcasting network that illegally streams CCTV and TVB channels using peer-to-peer technology. The suit also targets certain dealers in the U.S. who advertise, sell, and distribute the TVpad device with infringing apps that enable access to the pirate network, and, by their actions, allegedly aid, promote, and induce infringing public performances of CCTV and TVB programming.
“As our lawsuit states, we believe that the alleged scheme orchestrated by the defendants behind the TVpad pirate network deceives U.S. customers into thinking they are purchasing an authorized service when in fact the CCTV and TVB content is completely unauthorized,” said Chris Kuelling, Senior Vice President of International Programming for DISH. “Further, dealers who sell the TVpad have aggressively advertised and promoted infringing apps that enable users to access a peer-to-peer network in order to view pirated programming. We are asking the court to shut down the illegal distribution of CCTV and TVB content through this unlawful service and to hold the manufacturers and dealers of the TVpad fully responsible for their alleged actions in promoting copyright infringement.”
“The unauthorized use and distribution of CCTV content simply will not be tolerated, and we will take the necessary actions against manufacturers and sellers of products that facilitate the theft of our content,” said Chunguang Lu, President of CICC. “We allege in the complaint that this pirate broadcasting network brazenly infringes CCTV’s rights and we are asking the court to award us all of the damages caused by this alleged infringement.”
“TVB USA has joined with CCTV and DISH to stop the unauthorized streaming of our television programming by those making and selling the TVpad device,” said Samuel Tsang, Vice President, Operations for TVB USA. “Through this lawsuit we seek to protect our loyal customer base and to hold accountable those who are contributing to the infringement of TVB content in the U.S.”
As outlined in the plaintiffs’ complaint, the TVpad hardware is sold in the U.S. for $199 to $299 with included access to the TVpad “store” where users download infringing apps at no additional cost in order to obtain pirated content. The defendants named in the lawsuit are Create New Technology Limited, Hua Yang International Technology Limited, Shenzhen GreatVision Network Technology Co., Ltd., Club TVpad, Inc., Bennett Wong, Asha Media Group Inc. d/b/a TVpad.com, Amit Bhalla, newTVpad Ltd. Company d/b/a newtvpad.com a/k/a TVpad USA, Liangzhong Zhou, and Honghui Chen d/b/a E-Digital.
DISH, CCTV, CICC and TVB USA are represented in the lawsuit by the law firm of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.
A copy of the complaint can be found here.
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About China Central Television
China Central Television (CCTV) is the National Network of the People’s Republic of China and it is one of China’s most important news broadcast companies. Today, CCTV has become one of China’s most influential media outlets. Currently CCTV is distributing seven international channels in the U.S., which include Chinese, English and Spanish, covering almost every aspect of the Chinese social life. It is an important window for the world to find out more about China. CCTV is making efforts to become a global media network with increased international influence. Visit www.cctv.com.
About TVB USA
TVB USA’s parent company is Television Broadcasts Limited (TVB), the largest and most popular producer of Cantonese-language television programming in the world. TVB USA also offers various TVB channels in Mandarin, Vietnamese and English to meet the different needs of Chinese-speaking viewers in the U.S. All the best programming from TVB that originally aired in Hong Kong and Taiwan is broadcast by TVB USA in the United States on more than 10 different channels. Visit www.tvbusa.com.