DIY’s have emerged as one of the key ways that people are keeping themselves sane under quarantine, with videos dedicated to tie-dyeing to hair-cutting to sourdough-baking racking up millions of hits apiece in recent months. Now, it turns out one of the slightly less wholesome corners of these digital DIY-communities has attracted the attention of authorities.
That’s according to the Brazilian outlet Globo, who recently reported that one of the region’s more popular YouTube channels has attracted the attention of Brazilian’s Pay TV Association, ABTA, after uploading advice on how to get ahold of broadcast TV services using IPTV—or “internet protocol TV”—services.
Jorge Dejorge, as the channel’s called, boasts more than six hundred thousand subscribers, with millions of views across his uploads, which, for the most part, are generally focused on unboxing and reviewing different smartphones.
Though the initial pirating tutorial has since been taken down, the Globo report claims that the channel, operated by a São Paulo native named Bruno Gustavo. originally posted the infringing content in question back in 2017. At the time, Gustavo argued that these videos have the right to remain online, since they were “informative,” and didn’t instruct people to break any laws related to piracy.
Despite this, the ABTA—which, per to its website, is a nonprofit representing Brazil’s core cable and on-demand broadcast companies—won their initial lawsuit. In 2018, a local judge handed down an order requiring that hosting and search companies—including YouTube’s parent company, Google—remove the offending videos. Gustavo, for his part, was also asked to pay 10,000 Brazilian Real—roughly $1.7 thousand USD—to the courts he’d ostensibly harmed. However, as the Globo report points out, the judge initially held back on compensating the TV companies involved as “he believed their trademarks had not been infringed.”
An appeal ensued, with the Court of Justice of São Paulo finally ruling this past April that Gustavo pay the ABTA five times what he’d previously been fined back in 2018, with the final cost coming out to 50,000 Brazilian Real—just over $8.6 thousand USD, along with the costs of the entire lawsuit. According to Torrentfreak’s coverage of the case, Gustavo was found guilty of breaching the rights of the ABTA’s members by reproducing their trademarks, infringing their copyrights, and ultimately “unfairly competing” against the broadcast companies in question.
Brazil isn’t a stranger to piracy-related issues, with the country dedicating efforts to combatting the issue for more than a decade. And thanks to the massive multibillion-dollar surge into Latin America’s streaming market in recent months, it’s unlikely this is the last piracy-related case we’ll be seeing for some time.