Russian TV Channels Sue U.S. Distributors Over Piracy

Maxim Stulov / Vedomosti

A number of Russian television broadcasters have filed a class action lawsuit in the district court of New York against companies illegally broadcasting their programs in the United States, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday.

The lawsuit has been brought by Russian television channels including the state-owned Channel One, REN TV, TNT Comedy, Dozhd, CTC, Nostalgia and Domashniy.

They accuse U.S. distributors including Infomir, Panorama TV, Goodzone TV, Matvil Corporation, Actava TV and Master Call Communications of illegally streaming their content in the U.S. and using their trademarks, Kommersant reported.

The lawsuit was registered by the court on Feb. 16.

According to the plaintiffs, U.S. distributors intercepted the broadcasters’ satellite signals in violation of the law and distributed the content in the U.S. for a monthly fee.

The plaintiffs estimate the damages caused by the U.S. distributors at more than $75,000.

The current piracy lawsuit is likely to be followed by others, said Alexei Efimov, CEO of one of Channel One's subsidiaries.

“We have discovered more than 100 operators that steal our content and force people to pay money for it,” Efimov was quoted as saying by Kommersant.

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