Canadian telecom companies launch combined counter-attack.
Tech users seem to be a fairly divided bunch when it comes to the “grey area” they associate with internet piracy. On the one hand, the software, videos, music, ebooks, and other media are decidedly the property of the content creator, and therefore deserve to be treated as any other profit commodity. At the same time, a lot of people also see the outrageous price points associated with some content – or recognize that the rights’ owner didn’t do the work alone, and therefore shouldn’t reap all the profits – and decide to go the “free” route.
Canadian telecom companies have been launching an assault against one particular site they’ve deemed to deal in pirated content. TVAddons, which offers apps filled with content that can be streamed over the so-called “free TV” aftermarket Android boxes. The site’s creator, Adam Lackman, was issued an Anton Pillar order by a Canadian court, but the terms of the order quickly fell apart.
For those unfamiliar with such an order, an Anton Pillar order is essentially a search warrant, but is served in civil suits instead of criminal cases. The order itself is something of an insurmountable hurdle due to the way it functions. The defendant does not have to comply with the order in any way, but failure to do so can mean fines or even jail time for contempt of court. Once a judge issues the order, it is binding.
In Lackman’s case, several telecom companies pooled their resources, secured the order, and then served it, Fortunately for the defendant, they were also in strict violation of the terms the judge had laid out in the order; the approved hours for executing the search went about four hours over, the defendant was not allowed to contact an attorney or even take his medication, and even more damning, a judge later ruled that the purpose of the search was not as originally stated, as the plaintiffs attempted to gain more evidence about other pirates rather than focus on the terms outlined in the order.
Lackman received a small victory from it, in that a judge had originally required the plaintiffs to post a $50,000 “good faith” fee that they would adhere to the order’s terms. Since a judge has now ruled they violated it, that money goes to Lackman. Unfortunately, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to his current legal fees, and he’s not done fighting yet.