IBCAP announces $31 million judgment against ChitramTV

(Image credit: Pixabay)

DENVER—The International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy has announced that on November 15, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas entered a Judgment and Injunction against ChitramTV, a popular South Asian pirate IPTV service. The Court found that ChitramTV willfully infringed 207 registered copyrighted works and imposed the maximum statutory penalty of $150,000 per work, $31,050,000 in total. 

The Federal Court in Texas also ordered registries and registrars to transfer current and future domains related to the operation and sales of the ChitramTV service, including domains used to sell or promote set-top boxes and subscriptions. 

In addition, the injunction prohibits all resellers from distributing, selling, or promoting the ChitramTV service or any set-top boxes related to the service. Lastly, the Court enjoined all third-party providers such as hosting companies and CDNs from providing services to ChitramTV.

The lawsuit against ChitramTV was coordinated by IBCAP and filed in March 2021, by its member company, DISH Network, after numerous cease and desist notices were ignored. Today’s news follows IBCAP’s recent announcements of lawsuits against iStar IPTV service, DesiTV, and dealers of those services. 

“We are very pleased with this legal victory as it will enable us and our members to shut down one of the most popular South Asian pirate services operating in the U.S.,” said Chris Kuelling, executive director of IBCAP. “The injunctions imposed, along with the transfer of current and future domains associated with ChitramTV, will have a devastating effect on ChitramTV and any dealer selling ChitramTV. A dealer that continues to sell ChitramTV after receiving notice of the injunction will be in contempt of the Court’s order and liable for further damages. Dealers should be aware that it’s not worth risking their business by selling pirate IPTV services.”

A copy of the Court Order can be found here.

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.