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Four arrested for streaming Indian TV content through Jadoo TV

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It’s not quite Aereo, but a group of people based in Hyderabad were arrested for live streaming Indian satellite TV content through the Jadoo TV service, The Times of India reports. (hat tip: Raghavender GR). The police were acting on a complaint from Krishna Kumar, manager-distribution of Maa Television Network Limited, a TV channel.

When we had first written about Jadoo TV in 2012, we had questioned whether the service is legal, and pointed towards a strange notice on the footer of its website, which said “JadooTV is not responsible for the content and does not guarantee nor claims any rights to the content. JadooTV is providing the streams of all the channels as they are available on the internet.” That notice has since been removed.

What’s worth noting here is that the report points out that the apartment they were operating from was rented to “M/S Pearl Technology”. Now, this is maybe just a co-incidence, but Pearl Media Group Ltd is a “multicultural content aggregator”, and a part of the three companies that were acquired in March this year by CloudStream Media Inc: JadooTV, Inc., Pearl Media Group Ltd. and Altair Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Altair is an OTT software provider. Faisal Aftab is mentioned as the CEO of Pearl Media Group Ltd.

As per the March 2014 press release, Jadoo TV had over 1 million viewers. JadooTV’s device is priced at $199, while the price mentioned for its content service JadooPLUS is not mentioned.

Liability for third party content

Jadoo TV’s Terms & Conditions and Copyrights links also do not make any mention of JadooPLUS, but it does appear to take on the role of an intermediary, using the DMCA’s takedown notice mechanism. The copyrights page mentions:

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“JadooTV takes copyright and other intellectual property rights very seriously. It is JadooTV’s policy to (1) expeditiously block access to or remove content that it believes in good faith may contain material that infringes the copyrights of third parties and (2) remove and discontinue service to repeat offenders.”

It’s not clear whether this is for JadooPLUS, but Pearl Media Group would have been seen as a third party content provider on Jadoo’s set top box. However, following the acquisition, CloudStream Media merged the three businesses (JadooTV, Pearl Media Group and Altair Technologies) into one. Sajid Sohail, the CEO of Jadoo TV, took over as CEO of Cloudstream Media. With that, what might have only been the liability of one of the three companies (Pearl Media Group), now becomes the liability of Cloudstream Media.

Pearl Media Group’s Partners

Pearl Media Group’s website lists partnerships with a large number of Indian channels, including BIG Magic International, E24, NEws24, Dhamaal, Masti, Zoom, MTunes, Manoranjan TV, Music xpress, Aaj Tak, Headlines Today, Delhi Aaj Tak, Tez, News Express, PTC, 9X Tashan, Sangeet Bhojpuri, among several others.

Maa TV, however, is not a partner.

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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