Premier League makes latest anti-piracy move

Football’s English Premier League has stepped up its efforts to prevent piracy of its content by partnering with digital platform security specialist Irdeto.

The company is working with the Premier League, as well as Europol, Eurojust and Spanish specialised computer crimes prosecutors, to target illegal IPTV streaming businesses in Europe.

The Spanish National Police and Europol yesterday (Tuesday) announced the successful raid of one business, with 12 locations having been searched in Spain and Bulgaria. The raid resulted in the arrest of eight individuals for the illegal distribution of 1,000 pay-television channels across two internet service providers (ISPs) through the use of IPTV technology.

The servers used to provide illegal access to the channels were subsequently shut down and numerous documents incriminating those involved were confiscated.

The Premier League initiated the investigation, dubbed Operation Casper, as part of its global effort to combat illegal online redistribution of its live broadcasts.

Irdeto found a Danish citizen living in Spain who owned an ISP in Malaga to illegally broadcast encrypted television signals to thousands of consumers and businesses across Europe. Irdeto found that the individual led a criminal organisation that provides a high-quality pirate service offering from legal operators.

The investigation also found another illegal organisation in Silistra, Bulgaria, which was operated by the same network that had another internet provider in that location covering different European countries.

The Premier League’s director of legal services, Kevin Plumb, said: “These actions are just one part of the largest anti-piracy campaign the Premier League has conducted to protect its copyright.

“The raids in Spain and Bulgaria by the Spanish Police and law enforcement agencies are a clear indication that IPTV piracy will not be tolerated. Our model, like other sports and creative industries, is predicated on the ability to market and sell rights and protect our intellectual property. It is because of this that clubs can invest in and develop talented players, build world-class stadiums, and support young people in schools and communities across the country."