Major Studios, Streamers Declare Legal War on TickBox

Tickbox TV Site - Screenshot - H 2017

While the war between major film studios and purported family-friendly filterer VidAngel wages on, Hollywood has recruited two streaming giants for a new battle with the maker of a box it says gives users easy access to pirated content.

Universal, Columbia, Disney,  20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., Amazon and Netflix are suing TickBox, alleging the company's hardware device allows mass infringement of their copyrighted films and television shows. 

"TickBox tells customers to 'plug the Tickbox TV into your current television and enjoy unlimited access to ALL the hottest TV shows, Hollywood blockbusters and LIVE sporting events in one convenient little device … ABSOLUTELY FREE,'" writes attorney Kelly Klaus in a complaint filed Friday in California federal court. "What TickBox actually sells is nothing less than illegal access to Plaintiffs’ copyrighted content."

According to the suit, when a viewer plugs in TickBox it gives them "nearly instantaneous access" to illegal content streams — including titles that aren't yet available through legal streaming sites. 

"TickBox TV customers also have access to information about sources, including whether the source streams content in high-definition or standard-definition resolution," writes Klaus. "[T]he sources for some movies that are still in theaters are listed as 'CAM,' which indicates that the video was shot illegally by an individual using a camcorder or other recording device in a movie theater."

At the bottom of the company's homepage there's a notice that says, "TickBox TV should not be utilized to download or stream any copyrighted content without permission from the copyright holder." Though the site also tells customers "they can 'of course' still use 'Amazon Video, Netflix or Hulu on Tickbox TV' — but TickBox confidently predicts that, 'within a few days of using Tickbox TV™ you will find you no longer need those subscriptions.'" 

The studios and streamers are suing for copyright infringement and asking the court to impound all TickBox devices in the company's possession and enjoin it from further infringement.

TickBox has not yet responded to a request for comment on the complaint, which is posted below.