LaLiga outlines success in clamping down on piracy at public establishments
Spanish soccer's LaLiga has cited further progress in the fight against piracy of its broadcasts, claiming that over 600 public establishments in the country have now been prosecuted for illicitly showing matches on their premises.
It said today that judgements so far handed down to owners of these properties for intellectual property theft included prison sentences of at least four months and fines to compensate LaLiga for damages, and the payment of procedural costs.
The league asserts that the judgements justify the work of the dedicated Territorial Network of Content Licences of LaLiga whose role is to protect the audiovisual rights of the clubs and support establishments such as bars and restaurants that do comply with the law on transmission of matches and are affected by competition from those that do not.
The league pointed out that the unit is made up of about 100 professionals who look to detect public establishments illegally showing LaLiga content.
Some 80,000 visits have been conducted this season, and more than 19,000 fraudulent transmissions uncovered as well as 60 cases of suboperators and installers profiting from commercialising or facilitating access to LaLiga content in public establishments.
The unit works with Mediapro, the Spanish sports rights and production company responsible for LaLiga’s public premises channel to clamp down on the pirate broadcasts.
LaLiga said that 4,300 establishments had been reported to the police and legal authorities, which had conducted raids on offending premises and seized more than 800 illegal decoders.
Most of the operations were carried out in December, and further raids have been conducted on the popular tourist islands of Mallorca and Gran Canaria in recent weeks.
LaLiga quotes a press release from police in Mallorca staying that “agents found that approximately 75 per cent of inspected establishments were carrying out this illegal activity through various methods.”
Those found guilty of breaking the law face jail sentences of up to four years in prison.
LaLiga has been one of the most active sports rights-holders in the battle against piracy, striving to pull the plug on websites showing its matches illegally around the world.
It has also been at the forefront of efforts by federations, leagues and other rights-holders to close down beoutQ, the Saudi Arabia-backed broadcaster that has been showing pirated content from BeIN, the Qatar-based international sports network.