The Maharashtra Cyber Police has arrested 28-year-old Satish Venkateshwarlu, a Hyderabad-based IT engineer who runs Thop TV.
Viacom18 had filed a complaint with Maharashtra Cyber against mobile application Thop TV, stating that the latter had been relaying and transmitting the network’s content without authorisation at a discounted price to the public.
The matter was investigated by the research and analysis team of Maharashtra Cyber. Venkateshwarlu was found to have created a standalone pirated application, through which he stole the network’s content using its inbuilt API.
The accused was produced before the court and has been remanded to six days of police custody for further investigations.
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.”
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 that 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 the office of the Inspector General of Police Maharashtra Cyber for their constant vigilance and timely support towards curbing piracy and copyright violation."