Infamous Kodi Library TVAddons Has Denied Copyright Infringement Allegations in Court

By Tom Pritchard on at

TVAddons has long been associated with the Kodi brand, as much as the people at Kodi would rather it not be. It became a very popular way for Kodi users to access third party addons, and has long been accused of facilitating piracy by hosting addons that let users access premium content without paying for it. TVAddons has always denied these claims, and now has gone on record to state as much in court.

If you don't know this story let me bring you up to speed. Last year the US-based Dish Network filed a lawsuit against both TVAddons and Zem TV, another third party addon accused of facilitating piracy, in Texas. Both TVAddons owner Adam Lackman and Zem TV developer Shahjahan Durrani have tried to have the case dismissed because neither lives in the USA (It's Canada and the UK, respectively), but that request was denied. Durrani himself has frequently spoken out against the lawsuit, even going so far as to try and crowdfund his legal costs so he can fight the allegations and "copyright bullies". Both of them face up to $150,000 in fines if Dish Network's lawsuit is successful.

Now in court a Lackman has, through his lawyer Jason Sweet , denied the allegations levelled against him and TVAddons. Specifically he denied that he had the "ability to supervise and control” to supervise ZemTV's alleged infringing activity, as well as claims he received “direct financial benefit” and “refused to take any action” against the infringement. Lackman has confirmed that ZemTV was available through TVAddons, and that Dish sent a takedown notice to have it removed. This noticed was forwarded to Durrani.

Lackman's lawyer also pointed out that claims of "contributory/inducing copyright infringement" are actually two different claims with different thresholds that can't be combined. One requires knowledge of infringement and direct contribution, while the other involves distribution of devices that promote infringing - much like those "full-loaded Kodi boxes" you've heard so much about over the past couple of years.

Sweet also took issue with Dish Network's attempt to claim damages, since it wasn't necessary to file copyright registration. So it didn't which, according to Sweet, prevents the company from claiming statutory damages and legal costs. Lackman himself has denied he engaged in or contributed to the alleged infringements, and if there was any wrongdoing involved it was unintentional. The site has meanwhile released a statement accusing Dish of bullying and"acting like they own the law".

As TorrentFreak points out this is only the start of the case, and a lot hinges on ZemTV's response to the allegations levelled at it - seeing as how they are central to this particular case. So don't expect this to be settled anytime soon.[TorrentFreak]