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Four ways you can be traced and fined for using IPTV under landmark new court order

Four ways you can be traced and fined for using IPTV under landmark new court order

The fight against piracy is being upped

The tide appears to be turning when it comes to illegally watching premium content through the likes of IPTV and jailbroken media devices like Amazon Fire Sticks.

For years, billions have been lost to piracy. Whether that's watching the latest films for free using Internet Protocol television (IPTV) or bypassing the need for a Netflix and Prime Video subscription when it comes to the newest TV shows, it costs the entertainment and sports industry an absolute tonne.

Subscription services aren't cheap, with many understanding why people do it while also acknowledging that it isn't an OK thing to do given the hard work and money put in to making the TV and film products that come with a fee.

In the US every year, almost $30 billion is lost through piracy, estimates the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center.

But things are now being done to fine those who watch without paying their subs.

Is IPTV illegal?

Using IPTV is actually not illegal. Neither is bypassing a media devices operating system. And roughly one million more people are expected to use it over paid-for digital TV in the next few years.

It only becomes illegal when both are done to watch premium content from the likes of Sky Sports, TNT Sports, Netflix, and Disney+ for free.

And it's this very act that is now being stamped down on after a landmark court order that's been given the green light.

Fire Sticks are often used to install IPTV software.
Getty Stock Photo

What's happened in the IPTV crackdown?

A judge in Spain has passed the court ruling allowing those illegally streaming specific content to be tracked.

It was green lit in Barcelona's Commercial Court number eight.

The purpose of the crackdown? To stop people watching Spain's top flight football league, La Liga, without paying subs to whatever broadcasters might provide coverage of its games where you live.

Spanish internet service providers must now hand over details of those who watch La Liga for free, as stated by the court order, which reads: "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."

President of La Liga, Javier Tebas Medrano, posted on X (formerly Twitter): "Given the note from the Communication Department of the Superior Court of Justice of Catalonia, we share the operative part of the Order that makes it clear that La Liga will provide operators with the IP addresses that transmit illegal content, regardless of location, and they will communicate to La Liga the users who access these IPs."

Hackers can use IPTV to get access to your private information.
Getty Stock Image

How will you be traced for watching illegally?

According to a copy of the court order, which was shared by Medrano on social media, those watching La Liga illegally can expect to be traced in the following ways:

  1. IP address assigned to the user when they accessed the Server that enabled the audiovisual content to be shared unlawfully;
  2. Name and surname of the holder of the Internet access service contract;
  3. Postal address of the [internet] line installation and billing details; and
  4. Identification document [NIF, NIE, other] regarding the information of the IP Address of the server to which you have connected, port of the server to which you have connected, and time of the request (GMT+0).

Medrano says that those found through the new court order will not be 'fined' but rather given 'damages' to pay because it is 'illegal to consume this content for free'.

It is illegal to watch premium content for free using IPTV.
Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Will the Premier League follow in La Liga's footsteps?

Right now we simply don't know, but we'd be shocked if football bosses at the Premier League weren't keeping a very close eye on the court ruling in Spain.

In 2021, estimates put the cost of illegal to the Premier League and its clubs at around £1 million per match.

As well as tackling the issue with those providing illegal streams, it has hoped an awareness campaign on the risks of watching illicit content can help tackle the issue.

In 2020, Premier League Director of Legal Services Kevin Plumb said: “This campaign is an important part of our education to fans. We will continue working with our broadcast partners to fight piracy and disrupt illegal Premier League streams. However, we want to ensure supporters really understand that piracy is not only illegal but also brings with it many risks.

“Illegal Premier League streaming also means missing out on watching high-definition games in real-time with expert commentary and insights from players and managers. We want fans to enjoy the best Premier League viewing experience possible via official broadcast channels, not via broken and delayed illegal sources which also bring with them a great risk of malicious malware and ransomware.”

LADbible has approached the Premier League for comment.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

Topics: Crime, Sport, TV and Film, World News, Technology, Premier League, Football