The major studios have had their hands full lately tracking down the makers of TV devices that allegedly facilitate piracy.
The latest target is Set TV, which advertises that it can provide 500 channels for $20 a month. The catch, according to a lawsuit filed on Friday, is that the service has no right to distribute copyrighted content. Set TV — which is available both as a streaming service and as a set-top device — picks up live streams of cable channels through third-party sites.
“For the customers who use Setvnow, the service provides hallmarks of using authorized streaming services — a user-friendly interface and reliable access to popular content — but with a notable exception,” the suit alleges, “the customers only pay money to Defendants, not to Plaintiffs and other content creators upon whose copyrighted works Defendants’ business depends.”
Set TV is extensively promoted on YouTube, with influencers touting the service’s range of channels and low price. In addition to suing the corporate entity, the studios have also sued Jason Labossiere, who allegedly runs the company from Largo, Fla.
Florida court records show that Labossiere has an extensive history of criminal charges, including trafficking in ecstasy and cocaine. On the latter charge, he was sentenced to a year and a half in prison. He was also arrested for domestic violence in 2015, but prosecutors declined to file charges.
The plaintiffs, which collectively go by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, issued a statement:
“‘Setvnow’ and other piracy software applications undermine the legal market for films and television shows, causing harm to a vibrant creative economy that supports millions of workers around the world. ACE is dedicated to protecting creators and reducing online piracy through dedicated actions against illegal enterprises like ‘Setvnow.'”