Amazon Sues Online Stores Selling Pirated DVDs
Amazon has filed a lawsuit against a group of online stores that sell pirated DVDs of key titles such as “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” and “The Peripheral.” TorrentFreak reports: In a complaint filed at a California federal court, Amazon accuses seven websites of selling pirated discs. These sites, including dvdshelf.com.au, dvds.trade, and dvdwholesale.co.uk, are presumably operated by the same group, using a variety of companies. For the public at large, it may not be immediately obvious that these discs are pirated. However, since Amazon doesn’t produce or sell DVDs for these Prime Video series, there is no doubt that they are created from illicit sources.
The piracy operation consists of at least seven websites and these all remain online today. According to Amazon, the sites ship to customers in the U.S. and abroad, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, resulting in mass copyright infringement. Before going to court, investigators conducted more than twenty test purchases of pirated DVDs. After these orders arrived, Amazon sent the discs to the Motion Picture Association which independently confirmed that they were all pirated.
The complaint lists Yangchun Zhang as a key suspect. This person presumably resides in China and obtained the ‘DVD Shelf’ trademark in Australia. In addition, Zhang is also listed as the registrant of several of the domain names involved. The complaint accuses Zhang and the others of both copyright and trademark infringement. Through the lawsuit (PDF), Amazon hopes to recoup damages, which can run in the millions of dollars. Another key priority is to shut the sites down and Amazon asks the court for an injunction to stop all infringing activity.