Shani is the developer behind the popular ZemTV Kodi addon but he is now being sued by Dish Network in the State of Texas. Discover how you can help.
They are alleged to be in breach of copyright by providing Kodi users with access to copyright material. This material is not hosted by either addons, they are merely pointing users to these streams by way of links.
These lawsuits are an attack on the Kodi community and if big fat cat companies like Dish Network are allowed to bully individuals like this, it will be bad news for all of us.
Shani has never even been to Texas and currently lives in England. We all take advantage of great Kodi addons like ZemTV for free, but now it's time for us all to help Shani mount a defence against this American broadcaster.
If we all donated $1 it would show these media bullies that the Kodi community stands together and it may prevent further lawsuits which could result in the end of free TV for all of us.
What is ZemTV?
ZemTV is named after the Pakistani news channel website at ZemTV.com and it was created and maintained by Shani, a third-party Kodi developer. At no time did he benefit financially from his Kodi addon, it was merely a hobby.
After installing Kodi from the Play Store you could then add the ZemTV addon either by using the Indigo installer or by adding the source directly into File Manager.
ZemTV scraped content from popular websites on the internet and initially provided links to Pakistani news channels and Bollywood movies, but latterly it had an excellent Live Sports section which showed live football matches.
The addon is now offline due to this lawsuit in Texas. Dish Network were granted subpoenas so they could get Shani's personal details from Amazon, Github, Google, Twitter, Facebook and PayPal. Just when you think your personal information is private, then along come the bullies.
Torrentfreak recently published an article revealing details of the lawsuits against ZemTV and TVAddons.
In a complaint filed in a federal court in Texas, add-on ZemTV and the TVAddons library were accused of copyright infringement. As a result, both are facing up to $150,000 for each offense. Initially, the true identities of the defendants unknown and listed as John Does, but an amended complaint that was submitted yesterday reveal their alleged names and hometowns. The Texas court previously granted subpoenas which allowed Dish to request information from the defendants’ accounts on services including Amazon, Github, Google, Twitter, Facebook and PayPal, which likely helped with the identification. - TorrentFreak
ZemTV for Sky Sports
Sky Sports show all the live football matches and the ZemTV addon was one of the best for working links. I used it several times before I had my IPTV subscription.
The links that Shani provided would probably not work now in the UK since the ISPs are now blocking servers that host these streams. Sky Sports viewers are now being blocked after the authorities went to the courts enabling them to request that all internet providers must stop access to any of these servers.
It's not just Sky TV that are fronting this war on so-called copyright infringement. Other companies include Foxtel, Amazon, HBO, Canal+, HULU, Disney and Netflix.
Why Should We Help?
We have been priveleged to have free access to all of these Kodi addons. The Kodi community needs to stand together against these copyright bullies who want to see the end of Kodi.
If we all donated $1 to help guys like Shani, it wouldn't affect our bank balance too much but it would greatly assist Shani in paying for legal representation in a country he doesn't even abide in.
If we don't help him, it could result in the end of free TV like Kodi and Mobdro. What's after that? A Worldwide ban on VPN providers? Some countries are already taking a stance against free internet usage.
We have to stand together and face up to this oppression, it's a simple case of supporting what we believe in. If you are happy to pay 100's of $$$ to pay for TV each month then by all means forget it.
I personally cannot justify that so I am always on the lookout for alternatives. I struggled for years to get access to UK TV channels when I was overseas and now they want to stop it. I cannot subscribe to UK TV when I am overseas so it's not like they are losing money from me.
How Can We Help Shani?
He has started a crowdfunding page over at Generosity.com and is hoping to raise $8,500 to pay for his lawyer in Texas. Let's face it, the Worlwide estimate of Kodi users stands at approx. 35 million so we have the numbers to fight back.
I have already donated $10 to help in his quest against Dish Network. I wish I could have donated more but Christmas is just around the corner and it's going to be an expensive month ahead.
If you can part with $1 it will go a long way to helping Shani and show these large TV companies that the Kodi community can stand up in defiance against the oppressors.
You may think this is a storm in a teacup but this threat is real and won't go away unless we all come together and support the Kodi developers.
Right now there are other alternatives to ZemTV but for how much longer? If Shani's legal reps can win his case then ZemTV may be back in the future.
In the meantime you can try other addons or add a Kodi Build which will automatically install a featured set of addons that all work. This is my preferred way of using Kodi and it will give to access to live TV channels for sports, movies, news, etc.
One such build that is still working is No Limits Magic. Check out my video below for installation instructions.
How to Bypass Kodi Blocks
If you are a Kodi user in the UK you can still overcome any blocks that ISPs are putting in place. You will need a good VPN to access restricted content. You would do this by connecting to a server in another country that masks your IP address.
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Another alternative is to subscribe to a paid IPTV subscription. This will give you access to premium channels that broadcast live sports from UK and other countries.
A VPN is not required with this IPTV subscription if you are already outside of the UK.
I published this article to highlight the lawsuit against the ZemTV Kodi addon developer Shani but when I was writing it I began to realize how unfair it really is.
To be faced with a lawsuit like this must be quite daunting and everyone is entitled to a defence. I really hope the Kodi community can rally round Shani and help him get good legal representation.