Maharashtra Cyber police have arrested a Hyderabad-based IT engineer for allegedly developing and running a mobile application to stream pirated content from various OTT platforms and satellite channels.
Satish Venkateshwarlu, who was arrested from Telangana capital on Monday, has been remanded to seven days of police custody by a court here in Mumbai.
According to police, the 28-year-old has been running the app titled “Thop TV” for the last two years. The app has lakhs of viewers, including 5,000 paid subscribers, they added.
The arrest was made after Viacom 18 Media Private Limited along with another broadcaster approached Maharashtra Cyber with their complaint, alleging that the “rogue, standalone” application had been relaying and transmitting their content without authorisation.
The app charged only nominal subscription fee, starting from Rs 35, and was popularised among users through social media platforms. The complainant media entertainment houses had claimed that the app had caused them substantial revenue loss following which a case was registered under Sections 43, 66 and 66B of the Information Technology Act, 2000, Section 63 of Copyright Act, and Section 420 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Officials from the research and analysis team of Maharashtra Cyber said it was found during probe that the accused had created a standalone pirated application, thorough which he would steal content from other platforms using an inbuilt API (Application Programming Interface).