Kodi Add-on Developer Forfeits Piracy Defense for Lack of Funds

Shani, the brains behind the popular Kodi add-on ZemTV, has told his lawyer to stop defending him. The reason is the London-based developer’s lack of funds to fight the legal battle versus Dish Networks in a US court. The likely result is that the broadcast provider will win a default judgment.

The previous year, American satellite and broadcast provider Dish Network targeted two notable players in the third-party Kodi add-on ecosystem. Image result for zemtv

In a complaint filed in a federal court in Texas, the broadcast provider accused both ZemTV and TVAddons of copyright infringement, with both facing up to $150,000 for each offense.

TVAddons operator Adam Lackman responded to the allegations last week, but ZemTV’s developer ‘Shani’ declined.

Shani, short for Shahjahan Durrani never denied that he was the brains behind the Kodi-addons ZemTV, LiveStreamsPro, and F4MProxy. He initially intended to put up a defense, but financial constraints meant it was an uphill task.

Shani launched a fundraiser last autumn to crowdsource the legal battle. He was able to raise close to £1,000, but the legal costs already exceeded even before the case got fully underway.

It left him in a dilemma, either find the funds or give up the case.

Shani told his lawyer Erin Russel to stop all activity on the case and to take no further steps on his behalf.

The lawyer informed the court of this decision backend of last week and withdrew from the case.

This implies that the lawsuit is heading towards a default judgment and in fact, Dish has already moved for an entry of default.

Dish’s motion reads “To date, Durrani has not filed an answer or other responsive pleading or requested additional time to do so.” “Accordingly, the Clerk should enter a default against Durrani.”

Shani still hopes that Dish will drop all charges. The developer said he never operated copyright-infringing streams, nor has he ever made money from his add-ons.

ZemTV, similar to many other add-ons just offered the interface making it possible to watch third-party streams on the Kodi platform. Infringement or not, the developer notes that notwithstanding the lawsuit, these third-party streams are still online.

“The irony of all this mess is that those servers and apps are still functional and working while I am dealing with this illogical case,” Shani concludes.

Dish will likely demand judgment of thousands of dollars in damages should the Texas District Court enter the default. However, damage recoup is unlikely because Shani lives in the UK and at the same time has no assets in the US.

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