‘Pirate’ IPTV Reseller Boom Media Sued in the United States
Selling ‘pirate’ IPTV packages and subscriptions to the public is a growing market, with the obvious potential to end badly for anyone involved.
With that in mind, there’s a growing trend for so-called IPTV resellers to be extremely open about their activities, utilizing highly active social media accounts and particularly YouTube channels, where they promote their services, describe them as illegal, and then have their own faces front and center.
For Boom Media, a prominent reseller of various ‘pirate’ IPTV services, this business model has attracted the wrong type of attention. The company, which trades as Boom Media LLC in North Carolina, is now being sued by DISH Network and NagraStar for illegally offering their content to the public.
Alongside the LLC, John Henderson of New York and Debra Henderson of North Carolina are also named as defendants.
The lawsuit, filed in a New York district court, states that Boom Media is run from John’s home and he is the sole member of the company. Together with his mother, Debra, it’s alleged they sell “access codes” (a common term used in DISH lawsuits to reference IPTV subscriptions) which are designed to enable subscribers to illegally receive DISH programming via the Internet.
“The codes are designed and produced to enable a set-top box or other Internet-enabled device to access servers used to transmit DISH programming to customers of the MFG TV, Beast TV, Nitro TV, Murica Streams, Epic IPTV, Vader Streams and OK2 services,” the complaint reads.
Noting that Vader Streams and OK2 are no longer on offer from Boom Media (likely due to the former being shut down by ACE earlier this year), the lawsuit notes that the defendants also promote their service to access channels such as HBO and Showtime, plus PPV events associated with UFC, WWE, and various boxing promotions.
In common with similar suits filed recently, DISH says it was able to determine that the channels were sourced from its service due to watermarks embedded in its broadcasts. These were then resold from the above-listed IPTV suppliers by Boom Media, which charged customers between $10 and $20 per month with an option to buy a “pre-loaded” set-top box for $150.
While DISH points the finger firmly at John Henderson for the running of Boom Media, the broadcaster claims that it is his mother, Debra, who receives payment from Boom’s customers.
As previously mentioned, Boom Media has a YouTube channel which it uses to promote the various packages it sells. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by DISH, which highlights some of the language used by Boom Media in its videos.
“In a video posted to the Boom Media YouTube channel, Defendant John Henderson informed customers that “[y]ou guys are buying pirated streams, this shit is not Hulu, it’s not Netflix, it’s pirated f**cking streams. It’s no different than buying f**king knockoff shoes. It’s black market shit,” DISH writes in its complaint.
In common with other similar lawsuits, DISH hasn’t gone down the copyright infringement route with this action, instead opting for willful violations of the Federal Communications Act.
The company demands a permanent injunction to prevent the ongoing behavior and seizure of all devices and equipment used to facilitate the violations. It also wants to seize the Boommedia.org domain name (and any others involved in the scheme) plus “all hard copy and electronic records” regarding persons involved in the entire “Rebroadcasting Scheme”.
At this stage it’s difficult to put a figure on the final amount DISH will demand in damages but even hundreds of thousands of dollars could be a conservative estimate.
The full complaint can be found here (pdf)