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UPDATE2 Sky Finally Shuts Down its Own Internet Piracy TV Streaming Site

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016 (8:03 am) - Score 1,571

A few months ago Sky UK (Sky Broadband) won a WIPO domain name dispute against a website (Skysportslive.**) that was streaming their TV content without permission. But despite taking ownership Sky has not shut it down and the domain continues to offer links to pirated streams. Awkward.

Ordinarily copyright holders would tackle such things by seeking a court ordered injunction against such sites, which would be followed by a requirement for all of the major ISPs, including of course Sky Broadband, to block the domain. Sadly such blocks remain very easy to circumvent.

However in this case TorrentFreak reports that Sky were able to raise a Trade Mark dispute through the World International Property Organization (WIPO), which a few weeks ago ruled in their favour and passed control of the domain back to Sky (the ruling).

WIPO Case DTV2016-0001

In this case, it is clear that the purpose of registering the disputed domain name was primarily to rely on the value of the Mark in order to confuse Internet users into believing that the website connected to the domain name was associated with the Complainant’s services, to attract Internet users to the Respondent’s website, generate revenue, and to offer visitors to it genuine content without license or authorization, causing detriment to the Complainant.

The domain was subsequently transferred to “Sky UK Limited” (a WHOIS check confirms that the domain was last updated on 28th April 2016), but Sky neglected to shut it down completely and as a result the website’s DNS details have continued to direct visitors towards links for pirated video streams of Sky’s content that are stored remotely on another server (Crichd.**). The remote server is of course owned by the same people who previously ran Skysportslive.**.

The embarrassing situation means that Sky have unintentionally been supporting piracy against their own content, assuming it can still be considered piracy if Sky themselves are linking to it? On the other hand it’s possible that Sky might be using the domain to monitor users who watch unauthorised streams.

In any case we fully expect this oversight to be dealt with now that it’s been thrown around the news. We have also asked for Sky’s comment and are awaiting their response.

UPDATE 8:28pm

As expected the website has now been completely taken offline.

UPDATE 15th July 2016

Sky claims that it didn’t forget to shut down the domain. According to their legal department, the servers could only be changed by the losing registrar and as such they were unable to complete the update until the losing registrar completed the transfer request.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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2 Responses
  1. Avatar Captain Cretin says:

    Forgotten, or using it as a honeypot to build up a list of users to sue?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Doubtful, otherwise they wouldn’t have allowed the name servers to stay as they were before. I think it’s just a rather silly oversight.

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