Piracy investigation results in Czech guilty pleas

Two new cases of the piracy practice known as card sharing have been brought to resolution in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The cases involved the theft of services from UPC DTH (operating the brand freeSAT in these markets), enabling the illegal reception of services and depriving UPC of payment.

Following criminal complaints filed by UPC DTH, whose parent company Liberty Global is a member of AAPA (Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance), the matter was addressed in co-operation with Irdeto (conditional access system provider to freeSAT service) and local police authorities in Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Two full investigations were conducted with police authorities and the Anti-Piracy and Forensics Unit of Irdeto, partner to UPC DTH and member of AAPA. Both Irdeto and the local police provided high levels of cooperation and skill, leading to the successful prosecutions.

The defendants in both cases pleaded guilty and have accepted the settlements requiring them to pay UPC DTH several thousand Euros compensation.

In the Czech Republic case, the court conditionally closed the criminal proceedings as the defendant pleaded guilty, settled to cover the claimed damage and had no previous criminal history. The court also set up a probationary period of two years.

In the Slovak case, the police successfully closed the investigation and the state attorney closed the case due to the fact that defendant pleaded guilty, settled to cover the claimed damage and had no previous criminal history.

In welcoming the decision the AAPA’s Executive Director, Sheila Cassells, said that “these are cases which show that this type of theft is taken seriously and that local officials fully support the need to maintain the legitimate protection of the services our members provide to paying customers in these countries. AAPA will continue to support its members in taking necessary action.”

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