Allarco Entertainment, the Edmonton-based company that operates Super Channel, has filed suit against Best Buy, Staples, London Drugs and Canada Computers, alleging the retailers were complicit in promoting content piracy by selling internet streaming devices.
In a release issued Monday, Don McDonald, Super Channel President and CEO, said the lawsuit comes following a 19-month undercover investigation carried out at stores coast-to-coast. Allarco purports to have gathered over 100 hours of audio and video surveillance that documents 150 events supporting the claim.
It’s released a video that includes snippets of covertly-recorded conversations with store employees and managers explaining how Pay TV content can be streamed for free using Android boxes with pre-installed software like Kodi.
“After FairPlay Canada’s application to block illegal pirating websites was denied by the CRTC, I felt that something else needed to be done in the war against content piracy,” said McDonald. “When we discovered that employees from major retailers were actively promoting the downloading and streaming of illegal content to their customers when selling Pirate Devices with Kodi software, we decided to take a closer look and were shocked at what we found. There is a complacency around this issue with these retailers that needs to be addressed. Our goal is to lead in changing the culture around the acceptance of content piracy. People need to be aware that it is actual stealing; it is not a victimless crime and should be treated as such.”
Filed in Federal Court last week, McDonald’s hope is that the suit helps change the culture around the issue of content piracy. He’s encouraging other broadcasters and industry partners to join the suit and will be raising the issue with members of the Canadian Communications Systems Alliance at the CCSA Connect conference this week in Kelowna, BC.
None of the allegations have been proven in court.
Bell Media, Rogers and Videotron targeted five Canadian Android box dealers in a previous suit in 2016 and won an injunction. A suit launched by those same companies against Adam Lackman, the founder of TVAddons, a site that hosts unofficial, user-created addons for the Kodi media player, is awaiting trial. As of June, the site reportedly still had 14 million active users a month.
Super Channel operates Super Channel Fuse, Super Channel Heart & Home, Super Channel Vault and GINX Esports TV Canada, in addition to Super Channel On Demand.
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