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India scores a goal against online pirates

Indian police busted up a ring of streaming-TV pirates and arrested four conspirators in Hyderabad a week ago.

The activities of the ring were aimed at diverting the signals of Indian pay-TV broadcasters onto the internet and retransmitting their signals globally to hundreds of thousands of viewers who paid for a ‘Jadoo TV’ streaming media box.

C+T reports that the premises in the Secunderabad area raided by police contained equipment for intercepting more than a hundred TV channels. These were streamed free to customers overseas who purchased Jadoo TV boxes costing between US$250 and $300.

CASBAA, the Asian association of the pay-TV industry, lauded India’s efforts to combat on-line piracy. Chief Policy Officer John Medeiros pointed out that the boxes are cleverly designed to maintain ‘deniability’ for copyright violations, and foist the responsibility onto ostensible ‘users’ in far-flung parts of the world. 

“This is a great example of piracy masquerading as ‘user-generated content’ said Medeiros, “but the good police work in India has unveiled the business end of this syndicate, where the content was being stolen.”

The arrests highlight a worldwide problem of narrow laws that make it possible for international piracy syndicates to avoid prosecution. “Governments need to take a stand against these scams,” said Medeiros. “It’s going to take serious attention to updating and tightening old-style copyright laws that no longer suit the digital age.”

CASBAA continues to warn consumers everywhere that dodgy TV boxes are a bad deal for consumers, and their broadcasts are susceptible to interruption at any time.