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UEFA Wrongfully Hit Virgin Media UK with Piracy Takedown Notice

Monday, August 24th, 2020 (8:01 am) - Score 5,257
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The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has somewhat comically included broadband ISP Virgin Media UK in their latest list of DMCA takedown notices, which as part of a crackdown against illegal IPTV services ordered Google to remove the provider’s online bundles shop from their search results.

In today’s world it’s not uncommon for some companies to make use of automated systems in order to quickly build and then disseminate DMCA takedown notices. Such systems help to tackle the fast-moving world of online copyright infringement, which works by quickly identifying new internet pages that may be carrying pirated content and then requesting for those to be removed from online services (search engines etc.).

The problem with automated systems like this is that they can also end up catching legitimate websites and this appears to be what happened after TorrentFreak spotted a new list of DMCA takedown sites that had been created by NetResult, which was working on behalf of UEFA.

The list is intended to target websites that are involved with “illegal IPTV services which are broadcasting UEFA audio-visual content without permission,” and indeed most of the 953 URLs (web addresses) listed do indeed fall into that category.

However, the same list also includes legitimate pages for retailer BestBuy, streaming service Play TV, the Disney-owned company Star TV, a members-only customer help page for Sky TV, a channel listing for American broadcast provider DIRECTV and also Virgin Media’s shop for TV and broadband bundles (https://www.virginmedia.com/shop/bundles). Quite how Virgin’s shop ended up on that list we don’t know.

The legitimate pages are still active within Google’s search results and so it looks as if the internet giant probably rejected the wrongful blocking requests. Either that or they were later disputed by those targeted.

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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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1 Response
  1. Marty says:

    I feel sorry for the people using Virgin media. but at the same time company wise after the last twelve months I have a strange smug grin on a face. It couldn’t happen to a nicer company.

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