February 27, 2021

A judge opens the way for the fast blocking of pirated websites of pay TV | Companies

Transcendental judicial decision in the fight against the websites that pirate the signal of pay television in Spain, with special relevance of football matches, within the well-known phenomenon of Rojadirecta. A commercial court in Madrid has given Telefónica Audiovisual Digital the right in a lawsuit filed against telecom operators and internet access providers for the identification and blocking of a series of hacking websites. The sentence includes a key novelty: the plaintiff may provide a list of new websites to block every week without even going through the court.

The sentence, to which this newspaper has had access, orders Telefónica, Vodafone, Orange, MásMóvil and other operators to block access to pirated websites that provide URLs, domains, IP addresses within a maximum period of 72 hours, since the notification of the sentence.

The judicial resolution, dated February 11, includes a list of 44 websites that are considered pirates, managed by about thirty known commercial groups in the internet galaxy.

In addition, the ruling requires Internet access providers to notify the aforementioned Telefónica Audiovisual Digital of the effective execution of the block, with identification of all blocked web resources, with day, hour and minute in each case.

“This part of the measure will be limited in time, specifically, three seasons (2019-2022), notwithstanding its suspension suspension in the case of proving that the blocked web resource is disabled on the Internet, by not providing illegal content, ”says the judgment of the commercial court.


The resolution has a decisive point when establishing the blocking, by the operators of internet services, of access to pirated websites that Telefónica Audiovisual Digital identifies weekly, in a new list that this company will send directly to these operators on a weekly basis without Need to go through the court.

A judge opens the way for fast blocking of pirated websites of pay TV

“The blocking of new web resources (URLs, domains or IP addresses) must be done under access in HTTP and HTTPs protocols, and within a maximum period of three hours from the notification of a new listing”, highlights the sentence, which states that The weekly update list will be sent in general in simultaneous delivery to all operators, to preserve the homogeneity in its execution, without identification of recipients of the mail delivery. “This part of the measure will be valid for the duration of three sports seasons, that is, until May 25, 2022,” the resolution states.

By establishing these short deadlines, both for communication and blocking, the judge seems to want to stop the rapid changes from one pirate website to another, when it has been detected. A strategy widely used by this type of web pages to escape justice. That is, with the sentence a mechanism for the fight against piracy has been articulated in a dynamic and recurring way.

In general terms, the process was initiated by a lawsuit filed by Telefónica Audiovisual Digital against all the large operators, owners of the network, Vodafone, Orange, MásMóvil, Euskaltel, Lycamobile and Telefónica itself last November. The court admitted to processing the claim, giving transfer to the defendant, who in their answer briefs, were paved to the claims of the plaintiff.


In short, all the big telecos were aligned in a matter such as the protection of audiovisual rights, which to a greater or lesser extent affects all.

However, according to industry sources, this system benefits not only the right-holders themselves, but also other types of groups, such as Netflix, majors from Hollywood or the Spanish producers.

Impact of piracy in Spain

Trajectory. The access and commercialization of contents illegally has a long history in Spain, with a strong negative economic impact. According to a report by the consultant GfK and the Coalition of Creators and Content Industries, in 2018, last accounting year, the number of illegal content accessed in Spain was 4,348 million, representing a decrease of 3% compared to 2017, and a cumulative decrease of 12% in relation to 2015.

Value. However, the value of these contents marketed illegally was around 23,918 million euros, with damage to the sector as a whole, according to these experts, of 1,923 million euros.

Public coffers. The report also notes that public coffers ceased to receive a total of 638 million euros for unpaid taxes, and warns that 131,262 jobs, direct and indirect, could have been created.

Advertising. The percentage of websites from which illegal content that is funded by advertising was accessed continued to exceed 90% in 2018.


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