Lack of Funds Forces ZemTV Developer to Back Out of Piracy Defense Case

Written by Nitish Singh
Last updated August 17, 2021

The developer behind the popular piracy add-on ZemTV for Kodi is pulling out of the defence case against him by Dish Networks. The developer was fighting against Dish Network in the US, but a lack of funding might allow the broadcast provider to win the case via a default judgement.

ZemTV was sued last year along with TVAddons by Dish Network for creating a piracy-based ecosystem on the Kodi platform. Both the add-ons were accused of copyright infringement which can lead up to $150,000 in fines for each of the add-ons developers. ZemTV’s developer Shahjahan Durrani decided to stay silent on the matter when accused of copyright infringement and initiated a fundraiser to help raise funds for the lawsuit. Almost £1,000 was raised publicly, but the legal costs exceeded the amount even before the cause was fully set in motion.

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Being unable to pay legal costs any further, Durrani will now be unable to defend himself. With his motion to dismiss the case already being denied, he did not have reasonable odds of winning in the first place. Durrani claimed that he was disappointed when his jurisdiction appeal was dismissed in court. Durrani’s lawyer Erin Russel will no longer defend his case and cease any activity related to the lawsuit. Durrani’s decision to withdraw from the case was informed by his lawyer in court last week.

Durrani claims that he has never operated any servers that offered pirated content through streams and mentioned that he has never profited through his add-on. The add-on code was taken down over a year ago. The ZemTV add-on was an open source project and offered an easy to use UI to enable users to access third-party streams. The app continues to see usage with third-party streams being accessed by Kodi users.

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