International football coalition takes out Spanish piracy ring

The Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL), the Spanish Football League (LaLiga), NAGRA and Nordic Content Protection have stated they have managed to shut down an illegal IPTV streaming network based in Spain.

The network had over two million subscribers and was offering more than 40,000 video channels and video-on-demand content, offering a wide range of channels, sports events, films, documentaries, and series, as well as 50 pirate servers located in various countries in Europe. All were shut down as part of the anti-piracy operation.

The piracy network was based in Spain but operated worldwide in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, Canada and the US, generating profits in excess of Euro 15 million and causing much higher damages to the content industry.

The shutdown is the result of criminal complaints and a cooperation  between the football leagues and the Spanish police. The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) was also involved on behalf of the content industry.

The coordinated international law enforcement operation was led by the Spanish National Police with the support of Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union, and Eurojust, the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation.

The piracy ring’s IPTV service was offered to resellers allowing them to create their own brand and illegal service as a franchise. Arrests were made in several European countries including Spain, Denmark, Germany, Italy, and Sweden.

Individuals were charged with crimes against intellectual property, communications fraud, money laundering and criminal organisation.

“We are grateful to the Spanish National Police and all involved in this operation for working together to protect and defend content owner rights,” said Melcior Soler, audiovisual director at LaLiga. “Piracy is a global problem and it’s critical for the industry as whole to come together to fight it, share knowledge and leverage key partnerships and anti-piracy technologies to preserve high quality content for our fans, whether it’s in sports or other types of entertainment. Together we can make a difference and alter the piracy landscape.”

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