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Disney Fights Back Against Copyright Infringement, Wins Compensation

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It’s not often that the big Hollywood studios all band together to go up against a common enemy. But that’s precisely what happened recently. The Walt Disney Company is one of the biggest names in the entertainment business, and the company has had a meteoric rise to the top, now owning multiple different properties in the industry, from Marvel to Lucasfilm to its most controversial acquisition of 20th Century Fox. However, even a name as big as this can be affected by illegal actions, and when that happens, Disney will take steps to rectify the situation.

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Disney+ includes Disney movies, Pixar movies, Marvel movies, and Star Wars content (as well as some National Geographic content). Credit: Disney

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It was recently reported by The Hollywood Reporter that Disney, along with multiple other major studios, banded together to sue Dwayne Johnson (not the famous actor). This Dwayne Johnson is the owner of numerous illegal pirate websites that share illegally acquired content on his platforms.

The studios are all trying to crack down on piracy, and in this attempt, Universal, Disney, and Netflix all worked together to secure a deal to their benefit.

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These three studios sued Johnson in 2021 for copyright infringement, and Warner Bros., Paramount, and Apple, among other studios, also joined in the lawsuit. Per the complaint, Johnson operated AllAccessTV (AATV) and Quality Restreams, which “sold subscriptions to copyrighted movies and TV shows — including the Harry Potter and Jurassic Park movies as well as The Office — through thousands of live channels and video-on-demand offerings.”

Bob Iger in his office

Disney CEO Bob Iger in his office / Credit: Hollywood Reporter

The lawsuit also alleged that Johnson was well aware his operation was illegal, considering evident “concerted efforts to conceal the unlawful enterprise.” His front-facing website reportedly claimed to sell VPNs but, in reality, was offering subscriptions to his services.

As The Hollywood Reporter clarified, “If copyright infringement is willful, the owner is entitled to statutory damages of up to $150,000 per infringed work.” Disney and the other studios are seeing a payday of $30 million. According to court documents, Johnson has agreed to resolve the suit in a deal that includes “an injunction barring him from continuing to operate any service that allows users to pirate movies.”

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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