NAGRA, Broadcaster Coalition Celebrate Anti-Piracy Win

The International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP) anti-piracy lab, in coordination with content protection firm NAGRA, are celebrating a win in a federal district court and a federal bankruptcy court, both in Florida, against U.S.-based sellers of the pirate service ATN.

The courts have ordered Hisham Manse Ibrahem and Nezar Saeed Hammo to pay more than $32 million in combined damages for willful copyright infringement. The pair were selling the ATN service through a company known as Alfa TV Inc., which was also found liable, along with Haitham Mansi, a Sweden-based owner and operator of Alfa TV, Inc.

The defendants refused to comply with IBCAP takedown notices, and the courts ruled that their financial liability cannot be shielded by bankruptcy.

The courts ordered the defendants to cease “distributing, providing, selling, or promoting any product, or service, including ATN set-top boxes, apps, service subscriptions, and any other set-top boxes and television subscription services, that reproduce, copy, transmit, stream, distribute, or publicly perform any of the [IBCAP Member Channels at issue] or any of the programming that comprises or appears on any of the [IBCAP Member Channels at issue] in the United States.”

“Yet again, the federal courts have levied huge financial awards against individuals in the U.S. who were selling pirate services,” said Chris Kuelling, executive director of IBCAP. “This case is another example of why it is not worth the risk for retailers to sell pirate services. It is also important to point out that sellers of pirate services cannot use bankruptcy to shield against their illegal activities. Here, as with other willful copyright infringers who have sought to use bankruptcy to avoid judgments, the bankruptcy court concluded that the judgment against Mr. Hammo is not discharged by the bankruptcy.”

The cases were filed by IBCAP member DISH Network.