Back in November 2019, The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) announced that it has obtained a consent judgment and permanent injunction against the live TV streaming company Omniverse One World Television Inc. in federal district court. Now Omniverse is suing the company who it says sold them the rights and made it appear that they owned the rights to run a streaming service called Hovsat. In total Omniverse wants Hovsat to pay its full $50 million in piracy damages it now owes to ACE according to a report from TorrentFreak.
“Had HovSat not made the misrepresentations regarding acquiring the distribution licenses for the copyrighted content, and thus not breached their contract with Omniverse, Omniverse would have never been subject to the above-caption lawsuit raised by Plaintiffs. It logically follows that HovSat’s misrepresentations thus proximately and directly caused the $50,000,000 in damages suffered by Omniverse,” the filing from Omniverse says.
This story goes back to February 2019, when the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) filed a lawsuit saying Omniverse, the company that powers many live TV streaming services including the HDHomeRun Premium TV, SkyStream TV, TikiLive, and more allowing them to access channels like ESPN and Disney do not have the rights to this content. ACE’s members include some of the biggest names in TV and many others with the goal of protecting their works.
“This judgment and injunction are a major win for creators, audiences, and the legitimate streaming market, which has been undermined by Omniverse and its ‘back office’ piracy infrastructure for years,” said Karen Thorland, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at the Motion Picture Association. “It also builds on recent ACE legal victories over illicit piracy operations, strengthening the legitimate market for film, video, and live TV that gives audiences more choices than ever while supporting millions of American jobs.”
Earlier Omniverse had claimed that they had a 100-year deal through a contract between HovSat and DIRECTV. Now it seems that no one can find that contract. “It is not known if such records will be found in discovery or not,” Omniverse said. “Mr. Hovnanian [the owner of HovSat] is apparently in Armenia and his attorneys have not come forward to support the legal position of HovSat.”
This all comes as Omniverse who used to sell through services Flixon, TikiLive, Vista TV, Clikia, VivaLiveTV, HDHomeRun Premium TV, SkyStream, and more shut down its residential service. Instead, they said they would focus on multifamily units, but now that seems to also be going away. This court order would appear to put an end to any of these plans.
The question now is will they win and if they do win will Hovsat pay. According to reports Hovsat’s owner is overseas and is already under federal investigation. Yet since Hovsat is not defending itself it is possible Omniverse will win a default judgment in the case helping it hold off ACE’s efforts to collect.