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Premier League Hail Success of UK ISP Work to Stop Internet Piracy

Monday, September 9th, 2019 (11:18 am) - Score 1,410
banned and forbidden uk internet censorship

The UK Government’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO) has recently published its annual 2019 intellectual property crime and enforcement report, which among other things reveals that the Premier League (Football) managed to remove or block over 210,000 live streams and over 360,000 clips of its matches.

Rights Holders have traditionally sought various different types of court orders against major UK broadband ISPs, which have resulted in various copyright infringing websites being blocked. Not long after that the Premier League began seeking similar orders against servers that were known to be hosting “illegal streams” of their football matches (here).

Such orders tend to be flexible so that they can be used to disrupt dynamic live streams, which are able to change servers mid-stream when or if the original source is suddenly blocked. Such streams can appear on both internet piracy sites and modified TV streaming boxes, which is why the court orders tend to target the servers themselves.

Clearly this effort has had some success, although no data is provided to show what economic impact this has had (not everybody who uses an illegal stream would have the money to subscribe via a legal alternative – TV sport is quite pricey). Likewise such blocks continue to be circumvented and so the endless game of whack-a-mole is far from over. Check out the full report.

Premier League Anti-Piracy Efforts

Over the last 12 months, the Premier League has continued to pursue a broad and multi-faceted approach to the enforcement of its IP rights, including by:

• Monitoring, disrupting and removing unauthorised online live streams and recorded clips of broadcasts of Premier League matches. In Season 2018/19 the Premier League removed or blocked over 210,000 live streams and over 360,000 clips of its matches that would otherwise have been available to view in the UK.

• Maintaining and enhancing a dynamic injunction requiring UK ISPs to block access to servers used to illegally stream broadcasts of Premier League matches.

• Successfully privately prosecuting three individuals responsible for a large-scale network supplying illicit streaming devices in the UK. All three were convicted for the common law offence of conspiracy to defraud and received jail sentences totalling 17 years, with the principal Defendant receiving a custodial sentence of over seven years.

• Action to prevent the unauthorised broadcasts of Premier League matches in pubs, clubs and other commercial premises across the UK and Ireland. Over the course of the 2018/19 Season the Premier League conducted investigative visits to over 6,000 unique commercial premises.

• Working with Reddit to close its ‘soccerstreams’ thread, a forum that provided links and tips for accessing pirate content, and which boasted over 420,000 subscribers.

• Securing the removal of all Premier League content from Ronaldo7.net, a major pirate sports website which attracts approximately 8,000,000 global visits a month.

• Action to prevent the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods. This Season the Premier League has physically seized more than 111,000 counterfeit items and removed tens of thousands more from online marketplaces, ultimately preventing the sale of almost £4,000,000 worth of counterfeit goods.

Separately Nominet, the UK internet domain registrar, is said to have suspended 32,813 website domains in the last year due to criminal activity (up from 16,632 in the previous year) and only 16 of those decisions were later reversed. However this covered a variety of areas from financial crime to copyright, although the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPC) was responsible for the vast majority of suspensions.

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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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3 Responses
  1. Avatar Ferrocene Cloud

    Given how many illegal streaming websites there are and how easy games are to find, this doesn’t make much of a dent.

    I know people who pay $10 a month for Youtube TV (splitting the subscription several ways) to watch almost all the games, with no 3PM blackout. Just run through a VPN, and you’ll get a flawless experience.

    The PL force piracy by refusing to put out a good, competitive product at a reasonable price. There will always be those who don’t want to pay, but the vast majority just want to watch their team on a reliable and good quality stream.

  2. Avatar anon

    I don’t care for sport personally, but isn’t this the same organization which prevents sports from airing on TV at certain times because they’re greedy?

    • Avatar Oggy

      It is the English Football Association who decide the blocked broadcasting hours, not the English Premier League.

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