Hollywood Studios Get Illegal Streamer Shut Down

LOS ANGELES—A group of Hollywood studios has won a permanent injunction against Vader Streams, which they accused of illegally streaming hundreds of TV shows and movies to online audiences in the United States and Canada. The injunction was issued by the Federal Court in Canada against Vader Streams, which also slapped a $10 million fine on the pirate.

The group, which calls itself the “Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment,” includes most of the world’s largest entertainment conglomerates including Sony, Netflix, Warner Bros. and Disney, filed its lawsuit in January 2018.

The group said Vader was a key part of a complicated, IPTV piracy network, which until recently was feeding more than 200 dealers of illicit content with unauthorized access to 1,300 live streaming television channels and a library of up to 2,400 movies and 350 television shows. The unauthorized television streams included live events, sports, pay-per-view and premium pay channels.

The lawsuit was specifically tied to devices that use Kodi “add-on” software to stream content. ACE had also recently scored victories against other Kodi-based streamers including TickBox and Dragon Box.

“On behalf of all ACE members, I applaud the Court’s decision to permanently put an end to piracy operations conducted by Vader Streams,” said Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. “Actions like these can help reduce piracy and promote a dynamic, legal marketplace for creative content that provides audiences with more choices than ever before, while supporting millions of jobs in the film and television industry.”

The injunction issued by the Federal Court in Canada requires Vader Streams to:

  • Cede administrative control over the entire Vader piracy infrastructure.
  • Permanently cease and desist from developing, operating, promoting or selling subscriptions to unauthorized or unlicensed piracy feeds of any kind.
  • Permanently cease and desist from developing, updating, hosting or promoting Kodi add-ons or repositories that enable access to pirated content.

“Today is a significant achievement for ACE in our ongoing efforts to protect the creative content of our members,” said Jan Van Voorn, executive vice president and chief of Global Content Protection at the Motion Picture Association of America. “ACE is committed to an all-of-the-above approach to reduce the theft and illegal distribution of films and television programs. This enforcement action is one of the many legal and operational tools ACE deploys to protect the legitimate market for creative content.”

“This strong and appropriate action by the Federal Court is a clear demonstration that the Canadian legal system is prepared to take the necessary steps to combat content theft,” said Robert Malcolmson, senior vice president, Regulatory Affairs and Government Relations, Bell Canada. “Illegal streaming services like Vader Streams cause serious harm to creators and distributors, the entire broadcasting and cultural sectors and ultimately Canadian consumers.”

Tom Butts

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.