Hyderabad: Thop TV app CEO Satish Venkateshwarlu was arrested by the Maharashtra cyber nodal cell on Tuesday for allegedly illegally streaming and transmitting content of TV channels, due to which the channels have faced heavy revenue and viewership losses.
As per media reports, a case has been filed by Star India against Thop TV before the ICC World Test Championship final. The media conglomerate claimed that android software aggregator is a rogue app that offers illegal access to films, shows and live sports on TV, and video-on-demand content, without authorisation from the original owner.
According to media reports, Police said that other broadcast channels, including Viacom18, had also approached the Maharashtra cyber police with similar complaints.
Thop TV, which has more than 3000+ live streaming channels, rose to popularity due to their all in one place availability of popular apps like JioTV, AirtelTV and Zee5. Since it was illegal, the app wasn’t available for download at the official Google Play store.
Speaking on this development, a Viacom18 Spokesperson said, “Piracy is a matter of grave concern for the media industry and one that needs to be addressed constantly. It is important to acknowledge that digital piracy is a serious offence which causes huge losses to the digital economy. Viacom18 will continue to fight this menace and secure its content through all means available under law. We are grateful to Office of the Inspector General of Police Maharashtra Cyber for their constant vigilance and timely support towards curbing piracy and copyright violation.”
Speaking on the investigation, Superintendent of Police Sanjay Shintre, said, “Viacom18 Media Private Limited lodged a complaint with the Maharashtra Cyber against a mobile application, Thop TV, which was relaying and transmitting their copyrighted content such as movies, TV shows and VOD content at a discounted rate, thus causing substantial revenue loss to the company. After the initial technical investigation, it was noticed that the accused, a highly educated IT engineer from Hyderabad developed a mobile application named ‘Thop TV’ and pirated Viacom18’s content through Telegram, a social media intermediary. The app has lakhs of viewers, including 5,000 paid subscribers, thereby generating massive revenue for the app.”