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Tuesday 13 December 2011

Patricia Covarrubia

Argentina on illegal streaming

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Cuevana.tv, the popular Argentine site (12 million monthly users)and also one of Latin America's most popular online video streaming site that offers movies, series and audiovisual content, continues to accumulate reasons to shut it down - favouring free distribution of copyrighted video without owners consent (copyright infringement). Yet, the first actual lawsuit against the site was filed on later November by HBO. Previous attend saw the free-to-air TV channel Telefe (Telefónica Group) threatening ‘Cuevana’ to bring a lawsuit but never materialised.

In a district court in Argentina, HBO formally accused ‘Cuevana’ of infringing the country's Intellectual Property Law (11.723). The lawsuit was filed against both Tomás Escobar (the young Argentine creator) and "Cuevana.com" [the news' reporter spotted the following error: the web page cuevana.com does not exist and explained that perhaps the lawyers surely meant cuevana.tv – Oh dear! – suing the wrong party, I am sure everyone has an anecdote on this]. The case was submitted before the Instruction Jury No.36, Secretary 123, and State Attorney's office Nº4.

But this is not all, it appears that cuevana.tv had ceased to exist – although momentarily. This was due to an injunction from a separate lawsuit filed by Turner Argentina. The District Court Judge Gustavo Caramelo Díaz issued an interim injunction ordering the Secretary of Communications and the National Communications Commission to block "access by any Internet user to the resources of the website known as Cuevana"[no .com or .tv added – safe players I will say]. Turner Argentina ( a production company) had complained about the unauthorised distribution by Cuevana of three TV series: ‘Falling Skies’, ‘BRIC’ and ‘26 personas para salvar al mundo’. The programmes are shown on the TNT and iSat pay-TV channels, both owned by Turner. While the injunction only required the blocking of these particular series, it has been reported that for over two hours the entire ‘Cuevana’ site remained inaccessible but later on, slowly beginning to resume normal services.

Will now Telefe be encourage to bring a lawsuit? Moreover, will it be this matter the last straw for Cuevana to shut down?

More info here and here.

Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia