8 Mar, 2024 @ 15:30
1 min read

Home viewers of pirated La Liga soccer matches can now be fined individually in Spain

A LANDMARK ruling by a Barcelona judge means that home viewers of pirated feeds of La Liga football matches could be fined.

The order of Commercial Court number 8 means the Spanish league would be able to take legal action against anybody who watches their games via illegal websites and streaming feeds.

The court resolution will oblige internet operators like Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, MasMovil and Digi to provide La Liga with details of all users who connect to servers providing pirated football coverage.

It means operators will supply La Liga with the IP address of an offending internet service subscriber; the name and identification number of the person listed as the internet contract holder; and the address to which the line and billing is assigned.

“There are reasonable indications that content, works or services subject to the audiovisual rights of La Liga are being made available or disseminated directly or indirectly without respecting the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law,” says Spain’s order on TV piracy.

With personal details going directly to La Liga, it is regarded as a faster way of sanctioning users illegally accessing Spanish league football.

The judge has given La Liga a month to file a lawsuit against an individual viewer based on the information supplied.

“It cannot be considered that the registered illegal activity associated with the identified IPs has been carried out by consumers in good faith and without the intention of obtaining economic or commercial benefits,” said the court in reference to those who use altered decoders to defraud sporting bodies of subscription fees.

This order is unprecedented since, so far, each law intended to block pirate TV viewing has fallen on website or service providers, distributors of illegal services, or places like bars and restaurants that screen the pirated feeds.

Earlier this week, a Pontevedra court become the first in Spain to convict a company for proving pirate television services by selling decoders.

Engel Systems S.L and its directors were found guilty of breaching copyright with the sale of the units and fined €673,000.

Despite publicity for some years of cases being brought over pirate television, it is the first time that a firm has been convicted for selling pirate IPTV services.

Engel Systems operated for six years and evolved its illegal business.

It started off with card-sharing piracy, i.e. offering illegal connections to pay tv systems through a legitimate subscriber card.

They then evolved into IPTV- the main piracy method these days, where content sold to customers was accessed via the internet.



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