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Kodi based software seller that provided accesses to infringing media has lost its case to BREIN

Written by Samuel O'Toole on 03 November 2017

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The Dutch association for the Protection of Rights of the Entertainment Industry (BREIN) brought a case against MovieStreamer.nl in the Netherlands. The case revolved around the fact that the company offered software, for 79 Euros, which aimed to make streams easier to locate on the Kodi platform.  Further the Dutch company also offered ‘VIP’ access to a vast number of premium channels for 20 Euros a month.

MovieStreamer explained in its promotional material: “Click tile of choice, activate subtitles, and play! Fully automated and instantly the most optimal settings. Our youngest user is 4 years old and the ‘oldest’ 86 years. Ideal for young and old, beginner and expert.”

However, BREIN had other ideas about making Kodi easy to use. BREIN was of the opinion that it was an open and close case: MovieStreamer did not have the rights to allow access to the infringing content and therefore this was copyright infringement as it was an unauthorised communication to the public.

But MovieStreamer and BREIN did not think alike, the Dutch company claims that it was far from an infringement of copyright on the basis that it provided only referral services that only users themselves could activate. MovieStreamer worked in the way of shortened URLs that users could utilise for the supply of the content. Thus, in MovieStreamer’s view this was not a case of copyright infringement.

The District Court of Utrecht did not agree with MovieStreamer. The court found that because MovieStreamer was in the game of providing links for customers that allow access to protected works this was a “communication to the public”. The court also made reference to the fact that MovieStreamer was aware, or should be aware, of the nature of the media that was being provided to customers.

The court ordered MovieStreamer to cease its stream hyper -linking. It went so far as to impose a financial sanction of a 5,000 euro per day fine (payable to BREIN) if MovieStreamer continues.

Tim Kuik, director of BREIN, stated: “Moviestreamer sold a link to illegal content. Then you are required to check if that content is legally on the internet,” and “You can not claim that you have nothing to do with the content if you sell a link to that content.”

Whereas, Bernhard Ohler the owner of MovieStreamer, warned to others that may also be in the game of providing hyperlinks to customers: “With this judgment in hand, BREIN has, of course, a powerful weapon to force them offline,”

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