Netflix, Amazon Sue Paul Christoforo Over Dragon Box Streaming

Kodi Box streaming has been popular for a while now and it seems to be the subject of some lawsuits lately. Dragon Box is the latest to face one.

It’s the latest target in Kodi Box streaming. Dragon Box allegedly told customers to stop paying for Netflix and Hulu. They then allegedly urged customers to stream movies still in theatres through the Dragon Box. That caught the attention of studios and streaming services. The fact that the business is based in the US made it a whole lot easier to seek legal action against. A report from Variety :

Netflix and Amazon joined with the major studios on Wednesday in a lawsuit against Dragon Box, as the studios continue their crackdown on streaming devices.

The suit accuses Dragon Box of facilitating piracy by making it easy for customers to access illegal streams of movies and TV shows. Some of the films available are still in theaters, including Disney’s “Coco,” the suit alleges.

Dragon Box has advertised the product as a means to avoid paying for authorized subscription services, the complaint alleges, quoting marketing material that encourages users to “Get rid of your premium channels … [and] Stop paying for Netflix and Hulu.”

The same studios filed a similar complaint in October against TickBox, another device that enables users to watch streaming content. Both TickBox and Dragon Box make use of Kodi add-ons, a third-party software application.

The first thing long time copyright observers might think of is the MGM vs. Grokster case of 2005. In that case, many expected the case to go Grokster’s way because simply creating software doesn’t mean you are responsible for infringement. To the surprise of some, Grokster lost, but largely thanks to the advertising around their software. What ultimately sunk Grokster in that case is the fact that they advertised their software as a method to infringe on content.

Since then, most who have an ear for copyright law know that advertising your service as a method to infringe content in the US is simply asking for trouble. As such, it’s easy to say that the chances the company has in court are not good because of it.

Another aspect of the case that is interesting is who was named in the lawsuit. For some, the name Paul Christoforo might ring a bell. In 2011, Paul Christoforo became notorious for his stint with PR firm Ocean Marketing. A customer complained that his Avenger controller was taking too long to ship. Instead of resolving the complain, Christoforo attacked the customer. That customer in turn contacted Penny Arcade and the story simply exploded from there. From my report at the time:

In response, Ocean Marketing shot back at the customer, saying things like, “Grow up you look like a complete child bro.”, “people have inquired but you’re the douchiest of them all”, “You just got told [explitive]”, and infamously saying, “Son Im 38 I wwebsite as on the internet” (the rest of the comment would be Not Safe for Work) while saying that the orders are actually still in China.

Mike Krahulik, at this point, stepped in and threatened to cancel his booth at Pax east. Ocean Marketing responded to Krahulik saying that he had “bigger and better shows to be at” as well as saying how he has connections to big name gaming companies. He even went further by sending this veiled threat in the e-mail, “money buys a lot and connections go even further. He’s a native Bostonian from Little Italy”

Krahulik replied by essentially explaining that he does PAX east. Ocean Marketing responded by saying how he’s got big connections and Krahulik didn’t know who he was messing with. After complaining about the original customer in question, he say, “he’s a customer unless you’re his boyfriend then you should side with the company not the customer. Be Careful ”

After a few more testy exchanges, the chain ended with Ocean Marketing saying, “I have about 125 dedicated people to run PR , Blogs , Articles , Videos you have no clue who I am . Thanks again”

Sometime after the exchange, the e-mail chain was posted to Penny Arcade (Warning: NSFW language). It turns out, the person behind Ocean Marketing making those e-mails was the president Paul Christoforo.

You’d think that after this got the spotlight, Christoforo might realize that this has gone well in to the realm of the absurd and figure out how to dig himself back out of the hole he created. Evidently, that wasn’t the case.

Scott Lowe, Executive Editor of IGNTech caught wind of this story and sent Christoforo a Tweet, saying, “Please refrain from referring to me or IGN as support for you, your company or your clients. You do not have it.”

In response, Christoforo replied, “Your a douchebag anyway Scott we sent you how many units for review , How many conversations You were the unprofessional one”

It would appear that this person is once again finding himself in trouble. This time, however, there could be a whole lot of money at stake instead of a whole lot of bad PR.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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