TORONTO – A Federal Court judge has ruled that several companies must temporarily stop selling TV boxes that allow consumers to access content via streaming sites as they face a court battle over alleged copyright infringement.
Bell, Rogers, Videotron and Groupe TVA Inc. allege these companies’ TV boxes come with pre-loaded software that allows consumers to view copyrighted programming from illegal streaming sites, according to the court order.
MTLFreeTV, one of the defendants, argued the boxes are similar to a tablet or computer, and the company does not develop, produce, service or maintain the software that comes with the boxes.
Justice Danièle Tremblay-Lamer noted that pre-loaded boxes can have legal uses, as well as ones that skirt around the fringes of copyright law. She wrote in her decision those questions will be determined at trial.
She ruled June 1 that the companies must stop selling these pre-loaded products until a final judgment on the lawsuit.
Android Bros, one of the defendants, sells three models of TV boxes for $99 to $159.99 and said in a statement on its website that it will abide by the court decision and continue to sell streaming devices without any content loaded on it.
Rogers spokeswoman Jennifer Kett said the court made the right decision and that it was a case of obvious piracy.
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