La Liga and Google crack down on pirate streams
September 11, 2018
From David Del Valle in Madrid
La Liga and Google have joined forces to fight against pay-TV football piracy in Spain – which currently causes over €300 million in lost revenues per year.
La Liga is directing Google to take down all known websites that offer illegal access to the football streams. The search giant is blocking and removing the pirate streaming sites under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a 1998 United States copyright law that allows Google to flag and remove pirate sources.
La Liga had previously urged Google to take action in its DMCA complaint stating that “among the channels they offer, we can find audiovisual content of the football competitions corresponding to the National First and Second Division League Championships, and/or the SM King of Spain Cup, competitions organized by the entity complaining here, the National Professional Soccer League.”
La Liga is not targeting specific URLs. Instead, the football body is trying to block content right at the source. La Liga’s move not only blocks stream pages, but also entire websites and all their URLs which may include content that is not related to football such as ‘FAQ’ and ‘About Us’ pages.
TV piracy is a serious problem in Spain. In 2017, there were over 4 billion digital illegal accesses to content with a market value of nearly €22 billion.