A Wednesday complaint takes aim at the operator of a streaming website for providing users with illegal access to many of the world’s most popular television shows and movies. A half-dozen studios, including Paramount Pictures Corporation, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Columbia Pictures Industries Inc. and Netflix Studios LLC, argue that the Doe defendants’ infringing service erodes the market for licensed distribution and commandeers the plaintiffs’ exclusive rights under copyright law.
The Los Angeles, California suit explains that the Primewire’s website “provides its users a too-good-to-be-true offering.” The site reportedly admits that streaming pirated movies is “risky,” a term the plaintiffs deem merely a euphemism for illegal, and encourages viewers to use a virtual private network or VPN to make themselves anonymous while streaming content.
The filing says that Primewire makes money by selling advertising on its site or by enticing users to click on sponsored links. Reportedly, the popular pirating website draws approximately 20 million monthly visits in the United States, a number that far exceeds visits to lawful businesses like apnews.com, overstock.com, or delta.com, the complaint says.
The filing specifies that the exact identities of the defendants are unknown, but assures the court that the plaintiffs are diligently trying to find them out. In the meantime, the plaintiffs believe that the Primewire defendants can be contacted and served with process through email.
The complaint states two claims for relief, “intentionally inducing the infringement of the copyrighted works” and “contributory copyright infringement by knowingly and materially contributing to the infringement of the copyrighted works.” The studios seek injunctive relief barring the defendants from further piracy and damages for the alleged infringement. They are represented by Munger Tolles & Olson LLP.