- Illegal IPTV service providers take another blow, this time from a popularTV box manufacturer.
- Infomir has taken increasing pressure from copyright holders to somehow block access to copyright infringing platforms.
- No court order will be required for the blocking, as Infomir will be the judge of the validity of the reports.
Infomir is a set-top box manufacturer that is known for their cost-effective and powerful “MAG” TV boxes. While the company is selling TV media streaming hardware with the intention of them being used to serving non-copyright-infringing content, it is well known that pirate IPTV services today constitute a large piece of the piracy pie, and so many of their boxes are used to stream from illegal sources. In the context of the fight intensification against pirates, copyright holders, anti-piracy associations, and other entities who provide copyright management and protection services have approached Infomir with multiple claims and notices, so the pressure has built up the point that compels the company to do something about it.
The decision that Infomir took is to block access to the reported websites through their products, as long as the submitted report complies with the DMCA and passes their own review of copyright infringement. The reports that are submitted do not have to be accompanied by relevant court order, so the copyright holders will work closely with Infomir and resolve the matter on their own. However, Infomir clarified that the accused service provider will be given the capacity to oppose a report, and if a dispute arises between the two the matter will be taken to court for further review and the issuing on an official order.
As Infomir’s Legal Counsel Vladislav Larionov stated to TorrentFreak: “Our policy is to comply with the EU and US legislation on copyright and take into account best practices in the area of handling of copyright infringement reports. In particular, we only process the reports of copyright infringement that contain all the elements of notification envisaged by the DMCA.”
What has not been clarified is the exact way through which Infomir will manage to block the domains that are reported and found to be infringing copyrights. It is possible that a firmware update will help add this functionality to the boxes, or that the MAG devices already offer this capacity but it has not been leveraged by the manufacturer before. IPTV services supply TV box owners with a URL that the latter are expected to add into the device’s setup page, and then the service provider is authorizing access to the particular device by verifying the assigned MAC address. The company hasn’t made any revelations on that part, as they fear that disclosing too many technical details might undermine their power over the “access restriction system”.
One thing is for sure though, and that is that the battle of copyright owners has taken unprecedented extents, with all links in the chain of media consumption being entrenched to the copyright holders. The broadcasting means, copyright protection circumvention methods, and privacy protection techniques are all thinning out, and so do the options of those who want to consume pirated content.