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First off today, Ashley Cullins at The Hollywood Reporter Esquire reports that the major film studios along with Netflix and Amazon have filed a lawsuit against Tickbox alleging that the company’s Kodi-powered hardware is a vehicle for pirated content.
Kodi-based devices have been an especially-large thorn in the side of film and television producers. Though the software is essentially an open source streaming platform similar to Apple TV or Amazon Fire TV, it is widely used to add unauthorized channels that enable access to pirated content. Hardware manufacturers have seized upon this software to produce streaming boxes with access to free (but illegal) content.
According to the lawsuit, TickBox is one such box. Saying that the box advertises itself as giving access to Hollywood Blockbusters, live sporting events and more for free, the lawsuit alleges that the company is providing “nearly instantaneous access” to illegal steams. They further claim that the company is encouraging users to ditch Netflix and Hulu subscriptions in favor of their free alternatives. The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages and an injunction against the device.
Next up today, Charlie Hall at Polygon reports that Epic Games has filed a lawsuit against Brandon Broom and Charles Vraspir, two men they allege operate the paid cheating site AddictedCheats.
According to the lawsuit, the two men created cheating software for the game Fortnite that they then sold on their site. In that regard, the lawsuit is similar to to a recent case against the German company Bossland GmbH, which was sued for creating cheats for games by Blizzard Entertainment. That case ended with Blizzard being awarded some $8.6 million in damages.
In the AddictedCheats case, the software has been removed due to a “legal issue”. The case is especially interesting since the two men are being sued directly rather than as a company, indicating that Epic Games feel they have a direct personal responsibility in the creation and sale of the software.
Finally today, Reuters is reporting that the copyright has been restored to the family of Albert Namatjira, Australia’s most prominent Aboriginal artist.
In 1957, two years before his death, Namatjira sold part of his copyright to his friend John Brackenreg. After Namatjira died, the state’s executors gave the administration of his will to the state of the Northern Territory, which then sold the copyright to Brackenreg’s company, Legend Press, without consulting the family.
This prompted a campaign by Dick Smith, an Australian businessman, to restore the copyrights to the family. He was able, without legal action, to get Brackenreg’s children to donate the copyrights in Namatjira’s to a trust representing the family.