Developer of ZemTV Kodi Addon Gives up Legal Defence Because He Has No Money to Continue

By Tom Pritchard on at

Yesterday we told you about an ongoing court case in the US, where the Dish network is suing the operator of the TVAddons library and the developer of the ZemTV addon. Yesterday's post mentioned that TVAddons' operator Adam Lackman had denied the allegations of copyright infringement, though ZemTV developer Shahjahan Durrani had yet to answer any of the court's questions. Now Durrani has confirmed he's giving up his fight, because he doesn't have the money to continue.

Durrani, better known as Shani, never denied that he was the person behind the ZemTV addon that's supposedly caused Dish Network so many headaches. But Shani is based in London, while Dish Network has opted to file the lawsuit in Texas - a place neither Shani or Lackman have been to. While the courts were asked to dismiss the case for this reason, they were unsuccessful and both ended up having to find the money to pay for their defence.

Last year Shani launched a crowdfunding campaign to try and help cover the cost of fighting the lawsuit and the "copyright bullies" at Dish Network. He managed to raise £1,000, which isn't an insignificant amount of money, but the legal costs ended up being well in excess of that before the case even began. Telling TorrentFreak:

“I was shocked and disappointed, not only by reading that the court dismissed my jurisdiction appeal, they did so with just one sentence. It seems unfair and doesn’t give any confidence to me that the court/judge would be fair.”

So he had two choices. Try and raise more money to continue fighting, money he may never see again, or give in and accept the default judgement. Shani has chosen the latter, and instructed his lawyer to cease all activity, while Dish has already filed an entry to make it happen.

But Shani hopes that Dish won't push through, and says he has already cooperated with a subpoena by handing over documents that supposedly show he never made any money from the addon and wasn't responsible for servers hosting infringing content. ZemTV itself provided an interface that people could use to pirate streams on Kodi, and Shani claims those streams are still online.

It's not clear what the default judgement will be if it goes through, but as TorrentFreak points out it may be a hollow victory for Dish. Shani lives in London, not the US, and apparently doesn't have any assets to pay off any damages the court may say he owes. [TorrentFreak]