Netflix, Amazon, studios crack down on alleged pirate site SET TV

Rivals Amazon and Netflix, along with major Hollywood studios, are taking streaming service SET TV to court in a suit that by the end of last week expanded to include just about every major player in the entertainment stratosphere. 

In a lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Southern California, plaintiffs from Disney, 20th Century Fox and Sony Pictures to Columbia Pictures, Universal and Warner Bros. claimed that SET TV is a pirate site that looks legitimate to consumers but does business by “inducing mass infringement” of copyrighted materials. 

Plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to block SET TV from streaming allegedly pirated material and said they are entitled to “$150,000 per work infringed by virtue of Defendants’ willful, knowing, and material contribution to infringement.”

According to the suit, the scam works like this: “When a user selects any of the menu links above, Setvnow begins streaming the selected content from third-party sources. These sources capture live transmissions of the above-listed television channels, convert the copies of the television programs into streaming-friendly formats, and then retransmit the entirety of the live broadcasts over the Internet.” 

It showed a screenshot of the Disney Channel, noting that “a customer who simply clicked once … would have instant access to a livestream of the Disney Channel.”

“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 customers only pay money to Defendants, not to Plaintiffs and other content creators upon whose copyrighted works Defendants’ business depends. Plaintiffs bring this action to stop Defendants’ intentional inducement of, and knowing and material contribution to, the widespread piracy.”

The site has long been controversial, and major media companies are finally cracking down. Last year, studios also came together to file a copyright lawsuit against streaming media player maker TickBox TV.