Several ‘SportsBay’ pirate streaming sites darken following US lawsuit * TorrentFreak
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Several major live streaming sites sued by DISH Network for violating DMCA anti-circumvention provisions have turned dark. SportsBay, the largest of the quartet, had around nine million visitors a month, but a Texas court order requiring third parties to turn over its operator details may have sounded the alarm bells.
Most pirate IPTV online services today work by accessing official broadcasts and streams, capturing them with dedicated equipment, and then rebroadcasting the video to the public from dedicated servers.
However, an American lawsuit filed at the end of July shows that this is not the only way.
DISH sues ‘SportsBay’ sites
In an interesting lawsuit filed in Texas court, DISH claimed that four sites doing business as SportsBay.org, SportsBay.tv, Live-NBA.stream and Freefeds.com had sports broadcasts, including the Olympics. , NBA games, NFL games, cricket and motorsports, we get its content using a different method.
According to DISH, the operators of the SportsBay site are able to bypass the DRM technologies deployed by the streaming system of the subsidiary Sling TV in order to provide their users with free Sling programming, directly from Sling’s servers.
DISH has explained in detail how the operation works while alleging willful violations of the DMCA’s anti-circumvention provisions for which it deserves compensation.
DISH requests subpoenas to identify defendants
A few days after the complaint was filed, DISH informed the court that the defendants were using numerous third-party service providers to promote, manage and operate their SportsBay sites. These include Namecheap and WhoisGuard domain registrar, Tucows, Cloudflare, Digital Ocean, Google, Facebook, and Twitter.
Since the identity of the operators of the SportsBay sites is unknown to DISH, the company has requested permission to subpoena these companies to find out their true identities.
“These service providers are believed to have information that identifies the defendants – those who are responsible for operating the Sportsbay websites, circumventing and providing technologies and services which bypass the security measures employed by Sling and provide DISH’s copyrighted television programming to Sportsbay users without permission – and therefore are the intended recipients of the plaintiffs’ subpoenas, âDISH told the court.
Court grants expedited discovery
In an order issued earlier this month, South Texas District Court Judge Charles Eskridge granted DISH’s request to serve subpoenas on third-party service providers to obtain the identity of the operators of the SportsBay sites. The order also allowed DISH to serve subpoenas on other suppliers not listed in its earlier discovery motion.
According to a progress report filed this week, DISH reports that it filed seven subpoenas to the defendants’ service providers in early September, looking for relevant documents identifying the operators of SportsBay. At the time of writing, “most” third-party companies have yet to respond to DISH subpoenas.
This means that DISH still does not know the names of the defendants, that they necessarily have not been served and that none have responded to the complaint filed this summer. At this point, DISH hopes to be able to amend its complaint with real names shortly, but will likely have to file a time extension request in order to properly serve the defendants.
In the meantime, however, the SportsBay sites have disappeared.
All four sites go dark, millions of users are dry
It is not clear if the downtime on the four âSportsBayâ platforms is directly related to the DISH lawsuit, but it is certainly possible that the significance of the DISH subpoenas has caused some level of concern on pirate sites.
There can also be some kind of unexpected technical issue, but it seems less likely as other sites that appear to be using the same underlying infrastructure seem to be functioning normally.
In any event, the sudden demise means that a large number of SportsBay users are now faced with the prospect of finding an alternative. There is certainly no shortage of replacements, but with around nine million monthly visits, it is safe to say that some disruption can be felt in live sports streaming, at least for a short time.
DISH’s pre-application, court order and DISH progress report can be viewed here (1,2,3) pdf