Earlier this year, American satellite and broadcast provider
Dish Network targeted two well-known players in the third-party
Kodi add-on ecosystem.
In a complaint filed in a federal court in Texas, add-on ZemTV
and the TVAddons library
were accused of copyright infringement. As a result, both are
facing up to $150,000 for each offense.
While the case was filed in Texas, neither of the defendants
live there, or even in the United States. The owner and operator of
TVAddons is Adam Lackman, who resides in Montreal, Canada. ZemTVs
developer Shahjahan Durrani is even further away in London, UK.
Over the past few months, Lackman has
spoken out in public on several occasions, but little was known
about the man behind ZemTV. Today, however, he also decided to open
up, asking for support in his legal battle against the Dish
Shahjahan Durrani, Shani for short, doesnt hide the fact that he
was the driving force behind the Kodi-addons ZemTV, LiveStreamsPro,
and F4MProxy. While the developer has never set foot in Texas, he
is willing to defend himself. Problem is, he lacks the funds to do
Ive never been to Texas in my life, Im from London, England,
Shani explains. Somehow a normal chap like me is expected to defend
himself against a billion dollar media giant. I dont have the money
to fight this on my own, and hope my friends will help support my
fight against the expansion of copyright liability.
Shanis fundraiser went live a few hours ago and the first
donations are now starting to come in. He has set a
target of $8,500 set for his defense fund so there is still a
long way to go.
Speaking with TorrentFreak, Shani explains that he got into Kodi
addon development to broaden his coding skills and learn Python.
ZemTV was a tool to watch recorded shows from zemtv.com, which he
always assumed were perfectly legal, on his Apple TV. Then, he
decided to help others to do the same.
The reason why I published the addon was that I saw it as a
community helping each other out, and this was my way to give back.
I never received any money from anybody and I wanted to keep it
pure and free, Shani tells us.
ZemTV was a passive service, simply scraping content from a
third party source, he explains. The addon provided an interface
but did not host or control any allegedly infringing content