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Spain: Premier League pirate raid success

Spain’s Cuerpo Nacional de Policía (National Police Force) has successfully raided a store in a shopping centre in the Málaga resort of Calahonda, owned by an ISP suspected of hosting a large-scale illegal IPTV streaming business, thanks to a collaborative effort with Premier League and content security specialist Irdeto.

Investigations revealed that the ISP in question, known as ‘Y Internet’, was being run by two UK citizens and providing unauthorised online subscription services featuring more than 100 international pay TV channels, including Premier League matches.

At the time of the raid, five of the company’s 10 employees were present, including the system administrator who was in was in charge of the operation of the servers used to provide illegal access to the channels, an IT technician in charge of preparing the illicit devices and three sales managers.

Y-Internet sold illegal IPTV service packages with annual contracts to the large foreign population in the Málaga region, including hotels, pubs, neighbourhoods and individuals. This included reception devices that were adapted to receive decrypted pay TV signals without authorisation. An Irdeto investigator told the Police that he went to the store in the shopping centre where the employees showed him the device and services available. The representative supplied as evidence the reception device and a premium subscription purchased for €450 from the store.

The investigation was initiated by the Premier League as part of a global crack down on illegal online redistribution of its live broadcasts. Engaged by the Premier League for piracy detection and investigative services, Irdeto’s team of experts worked closely with the Cuerpo Nacional de Policía to gather information and evidence leading to the raid.

“The raids conducted by the Spanish authorities, supported in this case by Irdeto’s expertise, are a positive example of law enforcement taking seriously piracy and IP infringement,” declared Premier League Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb. “This approach is essential for organisations like the Premier League – and other creative industries – as our model is predicated on the ability to market and sell rights and protect intellectual property. It is because of this that clubs can invest in star players and managers, and world class stadiums – the very things fans enjoy about our competition.”

“These raids follow a recent case we brought in the UK that saw a supplier of IPTV devices which enable mass piracy of Premier League football sent to prison for four years. It was the first case of its type and the fact police, both in the UK and in Spain, are now targeting and arresting others selling similar devices is further evidence for consumers that they are illegal,” he added.

Once sufficient evidence of illicit activity was found, the store in Malaga was raided by the Police. While entering the premises, the agents were confronted with strong security measures inside including a surveillance system that allowed the owners to supervise the employees from the UK, where they are currently living. The raid alerted the owners who tried remotely to delete and destroy files, payment transactions and clients’ records. However, the quick and effective actions of the Police prevented this from happening.

“We are grateful to the Spanish Police for their support and decisive action against IPTV piracy,” said Mark Mulready, Senior Director, Cyber Services and Investigations at Irdeto. “We will continue to work closely with our customers, partners and law enforcement agencies to detect, analyse, investigate and counter all types of piracy affecting on-demand and live real-time content. This is a growing problem affecting content owners, broadcasters and operators across the world. Efforts like this are more critical than ever and set an example that piracy will not be tolerated,” he stated.

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