×

Studios Shut Down Dragon Box in Crackdown on Illicit Streaming

The major studios have reached a settlement with the makers of the Dragon Box, a hardware device that once offered customers “free movies and TV channels” online.

The makers of the device have been ordered to pay a $14.5 million judgment for copyright infringement, and will cease operating any streaming TV businesses.

The studios, plus Netflix and Amazon, filed suit in January 2018 as part of a broader crackdown on devices that use Kodi “add-on” software to stream copyrighted content.

The studios that comprise the MPAA joined with Netflix and Amazon to form the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, which brought several complaints. In September, the organization reached a deal with the makers of another device, the TickBox, under which the manufacturers agreed to a $25 million judgment.

The Dragon Box once retailed for as much as $350, and its manufacturer, Dragon Media, claimed more than 250,000 customers. CEO Paul Christoforo argued on his LinkedIn page that the device was legal, because he could not control what customers were accessing online.

But the company was hit hard by the lawsuit. In September, amid widespread customer complaints that the boxes no longer worked, the company announced that it would be changing its service to provide “the best legal content we can.” The company then rolled out BlendTV, with subscription packages starting at $40 per month.

At the time, the company disclosed on its Facebook page that “legal fee’s (sic) are bringing the company close to bankruptcy.”

“Everyone is here knew that this wasn’t going to last forever Hollywood was losing to much money and all good things must come to an end it was a fun 5 years,” the company said (sic throughout). “The boxes and the former content is still available on the internet we just can not help with any facilitation what so ever.”

In November, the company informed its users that BlendTV “got its content pulled.” Customers were later redirected to a new service, titled “My TV Hub.”

The company appears to have pivoted again, as its website now redirects to a site called BioReigns, which markets herbal supplements containing CBD oil. The Dragon Box Facebook page now includes instructions on becoming a BioReigns distributor.

Under the settlement, Dragon Media has agreed to discontinue BlendTV and My TV Hub.

Matthew Faust, an attorney for Dragon Media, said device customers would receive software updates as a result of the agreement.

“Dragon Media has to comply with copyright law,” Faust said.

Richard VanOrnum, a spokesman for the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment, said the settlement is a victory in the battle against piracy.

“Today’s legal victory is another significant and positive step in reducing online piracy and supporting creators around the world,” he said. “ACE is pleased the agreement will ensure the immediate shutdown of the illegal Dragon Box system. The theft of creative content is a pervasive threat to the dynamic legal marketplace for movie and television content, and ACE will continue its global efforts to advance creativity.”

More Biz

  • A police line forbids the access

    L.A. County Orders Closure of Beaches and Hiking Trails

    Those hoping to escape to the beach this weekend after being pent up at home are out of luck. On Friday, Los Angeles County ordered the closure of beaches and hiking trails, hoping to avoid the crowds that could cause the spread of the coronavirus. State and local officials had previously ordered the closure of [...]

  • Viacom HQ LA

    ViacomCBS Sets $2.5 Billion Debt Offering as Company Faces Tough Scrutiny

    ViacomCBS has disclosed plans for a $2.5 billion debt offering, an effort that comes as the newly merged company faces tough scrutiny of its growth strategy and balance sheet amid the coronavirus-related economic crisis. ViacomCBS said it would seek to raise $2.5 billion for cash that may be used to help pay down some of [...]

  • A2IM

    A2IM’s Indie Week and Libera Awards Go Virtual for 2020

    In yet another sign of the times, the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM) today announced that the 2020 installment of its Indie Week conference — the world’s biggest gathering point specifically for the independent music community — is moving online this year, obviously due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event, which also includes the [...]

  • Amber Heard Johnny Depp

    Johnny Depp Allowed to Pursue Defamation Suit Against Amber Heard

    A Virginia judge on Friday refused to dismiss Johnny Depp’s lawsuit against Amber Heard, allowing him to proceed with a claim that she defamed him in a Washington Post opinion piece. In the piece, published in December 2018, Heard alluded to her previous claims that Depp had assaulted her during their marriage, though she did [...]

  • Disney World crowd

    Disneyland and Walt Disney World Now Indefinitely Closed Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

    While Disneyland and Walt Disney World had initially planned to close through March in an effort to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and comply with shelter-in-place guidelines, the U.S. Disney parks have now announced that they will “remain closed until further notice.” “While there is still much uncertainty with respect to the [...]

  • Recording Academy Musicares Logo

    Warner Music Group Joins MusiCares’ Coronavirus Relief Fund

    Warner Music Group has made a donation to MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund launched last week, CEO Steve Cooper said in a memo to the company’s staff. “We’re backing the brave efforts of medical professionals around the world, as well as helping the musicians hurt the most by this crisis,” he wrote. “We’re making donations to Heart [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content