A sizable coalition of independent movie studios, including the makers of Dallas Buyers Club, filed a lawsuit against the alleged ‘founder’ and several distributors of the popular movie streaming application Showbox. In their complaint, they term the Android application as a pirate tool that’s used to mislead the public.
For years now companies have focused their anti-piracy efforts on pirate sites, including torrent and streaming portals.
In recent times, these efforts have expanded to streaming boxes, with the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) targeting several sellers of such devices.
Last week, the coalition targeted well known Android-based app Showbox.
Showbox does not grab headlines, but the tool is used by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people. It enables users to watch movies and TV shows via torrents and direct sources, all through a Netflix-style interface.
They include the alleged founder and developer ‘Andrew Crow,’ Showboxappdownload.co founder ‘Mark Willow,’ and the people behind Showboxappdownload.com and Showbox.en.uptodown.com/android.
Additionally, the complaint also targets the persons who made the application available on Rawapk.com/showbox-apk-download/, a repository of APK files.
The complaint reads “Plaintiffs bring this action to stop the massive piracy of their motion pictures brought on by the software application Show Box app.”
“The Defendants misleadingly promote the Show Box app as a legitimate means for viewing content to the public, who eagerly install the Show Box app to watch copyright-protected content, thereby leading to profit for the Defendants.”
This lawsuit is similar to the phone store employee case where it relies on input from an alleged user of the application. In the current situation that’s Hawaiian resident James Sosa.
Sosa testifies “I visited the website showboxappdownload.com and followed the instructions on the website to download the Show Box app to my Dell tablet.”
“The language on the site led me to believe that I could use the Show Box app to watch free movies legally.”
From the Complaint
The movie studios stated that Showbox is a pirate tool, plain and simple.
The studios wrote, “Defendants promote the use of the Show Box app user for overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, infringing purposes, and that is how the users use the Show Box app.”
All defendants stand accused of contributory copyright infringement. The studios are requesting the court for substantial or legal damages to reimburse their losses, as well as temporary, preliminary and permanent ruling to stop the allegedly infringing activities.
Additionally, the studios also request an order denying internet search engines, hosting companies, domain-name registrars, and domain name registries to give access to the allegedly infringing domain names and websites.
While previously the movie studios were engaged in so-called copyright trolling lawsuits, the Showbox related cases show that they are now going after the people who promote, develop, and distribute a popular streaming app.