Alamite Ventures LP v. Matvil Corporation d/b/a ETVNET et al. (17-cv-12468).

Alamite Ventures, owners of a Russian-language internet video streaming service known as “TUA.tv,” filed an interesting lawsuit in the District of Massachusetts against a competitor Russian-language video streaming service, “eTVnet.” According to the complaint, eTVnet is populated with pirated copyrighted videos for which no license fees were paid, and advertises the service as legal and fully-licensed.  Because of this, eTVnet can both offer content that the copyright owners do not license out, making the content unavailable to companies operating legitimately, and to offer lower prices as a result of not paying license fees.  The complaint names eTVnet’s two owners and operators as co-defendants with the company, and use the multiplicity of defendants to assert claims of civil conspiracy, along with unfair business practices and false designation of origin/false or misleading representations of fact under the Lanham Act.  It will be interesting to see if this complaint, which effectively argues for redress of harm resulting from infringement of third-party, non-plaintiff’s copyrights, can survive a preemption challenge under 17 U.S.C. § 301.

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