Police Arrested PikaShow App Owner For Piracy

PikaShow, a pirate streaming app, made many enemies in 2022. Star India, Disney, and the MPA were just a few of their targets. PikaShow sponsored the Afghan national cricket team and promoted itself on broadcast TV. Indian police arrested him and said a college student was accused of profiting from pirated TV streams through the PikaShow app.

PikaShow, a streaming app for Android-based pirate apps, ticks all the boxes. PikaShow was compatible with smartphones, tablets, and set-top boxes. It allows users to stream TV channels live in high quality, or download the most recent movies and TV shows offline.

PikaShow supports casting for those who prefer larger screens. PikaShow is available worldwide with subtitles. PikaShow’s downside is its global reach, which can irritate rightsholders overseas.

The existence of the PikaShow App became unacceptable for Disney Star, an Indian subsidiary wholly owned by The Walt Disney Company, in 2022. After a Tamil Nadu Police Cyber Cell criminal complaint failed, Disney filed a First Information Report with Bengaluru Cyber Cell alleging various computer abuse and copyright violations.

PikaShow did not shut down, but it doubled down. PikaShow became the official sponsor for the Afghan cricket team during Asia Cup 2022. This allowed the company to promote its pirate streaming app via legal TV broadcasts viewed by millions. This is a bold move that would not be described as normal.

PikaShow’s team sponsorship agreement allowed it to promote its pirate services via Star India’s official TV broadcasts for Asia Cup 2022. It means Disney effectively paid to advertise a pirate application it was already courting criminal action for illegally streaming its licensed content. Adding insult to injury, PikaShow streamed Star India’s official TV broadcasts for its users free of charge.

The MPA reported PikaShow, in the wake of the TV stunt, to the United States Trade Rep. Star India filed a criminal case against PikaShow with the Delhi Police, followed by another copyright complaint to the High Court of Delhi.

The Court issued a broad injunction against the operator(s), of PikaShow, in November 2022. PikaShow’s operator was ordered to be made available to all companies that do business with them. PikaShow domains were to be suspended by registrars. Every Indian ISP was given blocking instructions (pdf).

Police Arrested College Student

PikaShow did not shut down, but, as they say, 20/20 is always better than foresight. Anoop Shetty (Deputy Commissioner of Police, North East Division), Bengaluru City, confirmed Saturday that a man was arrested in northern India for his involvement in the PikaShow app.

Shetty stated that Shisharam Badiya, a native Rajasthani citizen, was arrested for copyright violations based upon a Star India complaint.

According to the reports, he is a college student. He was taken into police custody after they traced his cell phone number. The suspect is accused of illegally streaming Star India content and Disney+ Hotstar content via PikaShow and monetizing these pirate streams through advertising.

Although there are mixed reactions on Indian discussion forums, the arrest news does not seem to be drawing much sympathy. Some people suggest that monetizing pirated material was the problem. Others suggest that the only mistake wasn’t escaping with the cash. One poster expressed regret at the students ruining their futures.

Some comments noted that apps are constantly changing and will replace PikaShow. PikaShow’s “place” has been threatened for some time, regardless of whether it survives (there is no confirmation).

At least 100 domains had obvious ‘PikaShow branding. Although dozens of domains claim to have the official app, a comparison of APK files shows many others.

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