Italy deals major blows to IPTV pirates

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Italy’s Financial Police, based in Milan, have identified and seized two illegal IPTV transmission centres located in Switzerland and Sicily.

Some 22 Italians and two Swiss citizens have been accused of criminal association with a transnational character. Their activities consisted of the sale and distribution of decrypted audio/video streams to about 900 resellers whose proceeds amounted to around €1 million.

Customers, upon payment of a monthly fee of €10-15, were able to illegally watch pirated content from all the major pay-TV platforms, causing the broadcasters losses estimated at €130 million.

The resellers will receive fines ranging from €2,582 to €25,822, while more than 2,000 end-users in Italy will also have to pay a fine of €1,032.

Only days earlier the Postal Police of Catania closed an IPTV operation that left around 1.5 million users in 18 Italian provinces without a TV signal, effectively shutting down 80 per cent of illegal IPTV activities in Italy.

Forty-five people are being investigated by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Catania for criminal conspiracy, abusive access to computer systems, computer fraud and illegal broadcasting of original works via the internet.

Subscribers paid €10 per month, for an estimated monthly turnover for the pirates of €15 million, to the detriment of Sky Italia, DAZN, Mediaset and Netflix among other content providers.


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