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Piracy The Courts Television The Almighty Buck United States

Netflix, Amazon, and Major Studios Try To Shut Down $20-Per-Month TV Service (arstechnica.com) 212

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Netflix, Amazon, and the major film studios have once again joined forces to sue the maker of a TV service and hardware device, alleging that the products are designed to illegally stream copyrighted videos. The lawsuit was filed against the company behind Set TV, which sells a $20-per-month TV service with more than 500 channels.

"Defendants market and sell subscriptions to 'Setvnow,' a software application that Defendants urge their customers to use as a tool for the mass infringement of Plaintiffs' copyrighted motion pictures and television shows," the complaint says. Besides Netflix and Amazon, the plaintiffs are Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal, and Warner Bros. The complaint was filed Friday in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The companies are asking for permanent injunctions to prevent further distribution of Set TV software and devices, the impoundment of Set TV devices, and for damages including the defendants' profits.

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Netflix, Amazon, and Major Studios Try To Shut Down $20-Per-Month TV Service

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  • Can't see a problem.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Allow me to point it out to you, then. When you stop paying the content creators for their content, they will stop making it. This is why we can't have nice content.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Except for musicians. No one has paid musicians correctly for decades and the music keeps flowing.

        And Poets. Poets get nothing no matter how you slice it.

        Oh, and most script writers.

        And a lot of authors. They hardly ever get paid what they're worth.

        Comet o think of it the only people who do get paid are producers of television and movies. Strange.

        • Five misconceptions in a row, nice.
        • Just how do you like your art?

          People will keep making and playing music. How do you want to get it? Sheet music for your piano? YouTube videos with mostly decent production values? Going to concerts? If you want well-produced audio files or something like that, there's a lot of work involved that needs to be paid for.

          Similarly, if you like writing fiction, it's fun. Rewriting is much less fun. If you want a polished novel, there needs to be an editor to work with the author on revisions, probabl

      • Or, hopefully, they'll start selling the content in a way the consumers actually want.
  • Gotta check this out, lol
  • by Anonymous Coward

    When the copyright law in the USA starts respecting the Constitution, I'll start respecting copyright law. Until then, as far as I'm concerned, content companies are the bad guys and pirates are the good guys.

    • by HiThere ( 15173 )

      The "content companies" being the bad guys doesn't make the pirates the good guys. AFAIKT they're nearly neutral. If their actions harmed the MPAA or the RIAA, then I might consider them good guys.

    • When the copyright law in the USA starts respecting the Constitution, I'll start respecting copyright law. Until then, as far as I'm concerned, content companies are the bad guys and pirates are the good guys.

      Interesting how your moral high ground happens to allow you to take all the free shit you want. Convenient!

  • by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @07:15AM (#56493233)
    Cool! I'm saving $20/mo by not getting it in the first place. Always winning!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by houghi ( 78078 )

      I saved 2EUR per day by running after the bus, till somebody explained to me that was stupid. Now I run after taxis and save a LOT more.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by asylumx ( 881307 )
        This was immediately a whoosh for me, thinking "well that makes sense, taxis will take a more direct route than buses."
  • there was some way that could provide access to all of the 80+ years of television that is already around. Tnere is a lot of "old" television that has no presence on either Netflix or Amazon.

    I mean. next they will be going after people accessing broadcast television with an antenna....

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      Yeah but just think what would happen, in less then a week progressives(aka regressives) would be screaming about how all those old shows are racist/sexist/homophobic/etc. There would be whining and more screeching. Then the people with connections to media would start pushing the narrative that these companies support said sexism/racism/homophobia/etc, and you'd see the progressive-fringe press start pumping out stories. It would be amplified by more progressive sites.

      Then mainstream media would then st

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        I guess you missed the calm, considered and insightful debate around shows like The Simpsons (particularly Apu), Friends and Saved by the Bell. Or the thoughtful re-examining of old movies like the 60s/70s James Bond stuff.

        This appears to be yet more fake outrage. Unfortunately posting outrage videos about fake outrage on YouTube is quite popular, but if you ignore those there are some quite thoughtful pieces on this subject.

        Moviebob on Apu: https://youtu.be/NGMnnrw70lA [youtu.be]
        Lindsay Ellis on Transformers: https:/ [youtu.be]

      • Who cares about what people think about TV shows with old values? I can find you lots and lots of literature that's racist, sexist, and homophobic. I haven't seem any clamor for banning Lovecraft's work, and the guy was a racist to the bone.

    • I mean. next they will be going after people accessing broadcast television with an antenna....

      Are you equating someone pirating and rebroadcasting content illegally with someone legally receiving broadcast TV programming? Because that's a false equivalence.

  • Help Please (Score:4, Interesting)

    by WinstonWolfIT ( 1550079 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:00AM (#56493575)

    Their web site doesn't explain where the content comes from. The media companies being annoyed says it's doing some sort of end around.

    • Yes - I'll join you. Someone please enlighten us. I don't get it either. Based on other comments it suggests Setv may be streaming material that is / should be in the public domain?

      Or not: I've seen friends who stream sports matches from overseas using stolen credentials - all through an app that they download. And there's that Roku box package thing that was shutdown last year.

      So are they attempting to provide access to "open" info or pirate content? Either way it sounds like they are taking the $20

    • by grnbrg ( 140964 )

      Their channel listing: https://www.setvnow.com/channe... [setvnow.com]

      In addition to various streams that are like re-streams of freely available OTA content, there are a lot of channels that are cable only, some of which will be premium channels on any cable package. Access to such channels by established cable companies requires very expensive licensing agreements, and those license fees are passed on to the consumer.

      Whether you like existing copyright laws or not, this company is quite clearly breaking them. The la

    • Re:Help Please (Score:4, Informative)

      by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @11:18AM (#56494359)
      It comes from the web. They are tapping into the streaming content that others provide, inserting their own ads and calling it a day. Thus the lawsuit, they are basicly "rebroadcasting" content without permission.

      So at the end of the day, you're paying 20$ a month for a web browser and an aggregation service.
      • So something like subscribing to HBO and rebroadcasting? If so they're screwed except Hong Kong might have a loophole.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @09:09AM (#56493617) Journal
    There should be an Uber for Netflix.

    When I am not watching Netflix, I should be able to sell the stream I am entitled to, on the net for some money on the side.

    I think this service should label itself "as NOT a TV service provider" and call it self "media stream hailing service (SHS)". I should be able to list my Netflix stream, Prime stream on it for a specific duration. Anyone can look it up and hail this stream and pay me for use. I might sell my Netflix stream for 20 cents an hour. The SHS company will take its cut, may be 8 cents and give me 12 cents. Or I might sell it for 1 cent an hour, and we split it 50-50 with the SHS.

    That would be a real disruptor. Quick, let me patent/copyright this idea.

    • No one will pay $.20 to watch an hour of Netflix. At 2 hours per day, that's $2.80 per week or about $11.20 a month (which is about the price of a Netflix streaming package, from what I remember).

      No, I think you offer it for free but insert your own pop-up advertisements and commercials throughout the programs. It would be a gold mine.

      Let's patent together - I'll split the profit with you 50 / 50.
      • I like your idea but I would add blockchain micro-payments using one of the more serious crypto-currency, which is Dogecoin. Let's patent together - I'll split the profit with both of you 50/50/75.

      • Actually, I would go for something like that. I watch maybe a few hours of Netflix per month. Usually because a friend tells me I should check out a show or my girlfriend stays over and wants to watch something randomly. I realized recently that the fairly old account I own had been "upgraded" over time to some Ultra HD tier that cost about $18 a month. I was a little miffed to look at my billing history and realize that I've given them about $400 over the past couple years but my viewing history shows I ba
        • I always set up a virtual credit card with a dollar limit to give these companies. Once the limit is reached, till I check and give a new number they dont get money.

          But Citi card stupidly automatically allowed them to charge my card even with an expired card number. Some bullshit argument, "since the vendor has been charging monthly, to avoid service interruption, blah blah blah...". I put my foot down and said, "no way. The whole idea of the virtual number and dollar limit is meaningless with this policy.

  • Don't get it. If you want to take up the left hand path, Just get a raspberry PI or a firestick, load up terrarium tv, and there you are...0$ a month
    • by godefroi ( 52421 )

      If you're going to illegally stream your media, you might as well do it for free.

  • by Not-a-Neg ( 743469 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2018 @10:04AM (#56493955)

    Here is a fairly informative article about Set TV and how illegal IPTV services work: https://flixed.io/set-tv-not-l... [flixed.io]

  • I can listen to any song I want on youtube. Usually with no advertisements.

    I can also watch a lot documentaries, movies, and TV shows.

    • What's crazy is that for certain genres (like car reviews), the YouTube content is better than a lot of the paid content out there.

    • youtube is very aggressive on removing infringing stuff. some things slip there of course. most music they allow due to a agreement of the copyright holder getting all the ad sense.
  • Carl
    Customer support

    Chat started

    Customer Service
    Welcome! Thank you for contacting Support! Can we help you with anything?
    You — Please update your info
    How's the lawsuit going? Are you guys criminally liable or just civil?

    I'll assume criminal liability unless you say otherwise ;)

    Carl joined the chat

    Carl
    Hello! Thank you for contacting chat support.

    Our service is 100% legal.

    Thank you for your inquiry this issue has been forwarded to our legal department any further questions email to:Compliance@setvnow.c

  • This isn't the first company to set up antenna, catch OTA signals, and time or space shift them. Wasn't there a case against some other company a few years ago? IIRC the company won with the courts saying time and space shifting was permitted.

    That doesn't work for streaming services. I'm obligated to have a Netflix account to view Netflix content. I can see how it might be fine for me to buffer the bits and watch them later. I don't think I have the right to keep those buffered bits if I should cancel my Ne

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