Last week, the LFP welcomed the court’s decision to block access to illegal IPTV services. An additional step in the fight against piracy, which took a new turn in France after the adoption of a law relating to the audiovisual sector in October last year.
This is another small victory in the fight against piracy in France. Last week, the PFL welcomed the March 17 decision by the President of the Paris Court to block Internet Service Providers (ISPs) from accessing illegal IPTV services. For the first time in France and a hit for the fans of this trendy box or app purchase system in your internet box to have access to several hundred channels from all over the world. The ability for users to enjoy a vast catalog of series, movies and other small pleasures such as football matches at the expense of official broadcasters and their revenues. “Faced with the economic problems of French professional and amateur sports, the public and judicial authorities have realized the need to ensure that competitions are effectively protected from the serious and repeated attacks to which they are exposed.” , writes LFP last Wednesday. Confirmation that the fight against piracy has taken a significant turn in recent months in France, where players now have a more effective legal arsenal to deal with piracy. But the game is far from over.
— Professional Football League (@LFPfr) March 23, 2022
Law and revolution
You don’t have to go far back to find the key moment of this evolution. On October 26, the Law on the Regulation and Protection of Access to Cultural Works in the Digital Age was published in the Official Journal. In particular, he dedicates the third section to Book III of the Sports Code, which deals exclusively with the illegal rebroadcasting of sports events and competitions, which allows broadcasting rights holders to more easily and quickly take advantage of the possibility of imposing sanctions on pirate sites. “This law is a turning point, it allows us to protect our content.confirms Caroline Genneto, deputy general secretary of beIN Media Group, who has been waiting for this deadline for many months. This is already effective, there are consequences. In January, we initiated action based on this article to protect CAN and received a decision very quickly. We targeted about twenty streaming sites broadcasting competitions in order to block them. »
An important step forward for rights holders, who have also welcomed the creation of the Audiovisual and Digital Communications Regulatory Authority (Arcom), an unprecedented control tool that has emerged 1uh January merger of Hadopi and CSA. Its usefulness? Caroline Genneto explains it very well: “If you block the site, you can be sure that the hacker will create a mirror site, a new DNS (Domain Name System) address. And to get that second address blocked, we don’t have to go to a judge, we go to Arcom, who can then ask the ISPs to continue blocking these new sites. Arcom acts as a trusted third party. » A major revolution to mitigate the economic impact of illegal broadcasting of sports events while Hadopi estimates that 3.4 million Internet users used live broadcasts to watch sports events, up 70% from 2019. The shortfall is estimated at 500 million euros. for the beneficiaries.
“IPTV is not free streaming. This is a business, and behind it are not pirates, but subscribers. » Caroline Genneto, Deputy General Secretary of beIN Media Group
IPTV, a new target
The speed of litigation is a blessing for broadcasters. For example, the judge only delivered the ruling twelve days after beIN Sports’ CAN defense challenge in January. That being said, the Qatari group and Canal+ took action to protect the Champions League, while the encrypted channel did the same for the top 14. “Therefore, the fourth decision was taken at the request of the LFP to defend the French championship.Caroline Genneto continues. The big news is that the target is identified with IPTV services and not illegal streaming. We’ve run out of streaming sites, so it’s good that the League has turned to this other goal. » With the advent of state-of-the-art TVs and the headache of getting quality streaming channels, IPTV usage has doubled in four years, but still makes up a tiny fraction of Internet users who engage in piracy (6%). LFP still intends to stop this growth with the latest solution that will allow ISPs to perform DNS blocking in ruins, i.e. disable these illegal IPTVs overnight.
However, is this the end of IPTV? The answer is no, there are many ways to bypass these blocks, and hackers are constantly reinventing themselves by multiplying addresses. However, this does not change the strategy of LFP: to tire customers, to push them to turn to legal offers. “In the vast majority of cases, hackers are not computer professionals. And if in a month I see that I have to change the link every 2-3 days, I can ask for a refund of my 100 euros. (average IPTV price, ed.), image by Caroline Genneto. Once we can’t connect to anything and everything, we get angry. Our habits have changed. This is not free streaming. IPTV is a business, and not pirates are behind it, but subscribers. » Case of the calendar, March 18, the day after this decision, hailed as a great first in France, British justice convicted four people involved in the distribution of illegal IPTV streams, the creation of extensions that promote piracy, and other counts of money laundering. , much to the delight of Sky Sports and BT Sport. Verdict? Five years and six months in prison for gang leader Mikey1234; three years in prison for Kieran Collins; twice two years in prison and 200 hours of community service for Amanda Collins; and eight months in prison along with 180 hours of TIG for Robert Curian.
“For movies and series, we find Netflix, OCS, Amazon Prime, Disney, Fox, Apple, etc. In life, too, you have to make choices. » Caroline Genneto in response to the fragmentation of the football offer on television
Piracy will never end
These beliefs across the English Channel are giving wind to the mill of various French players who, in addition to new weapons to fight piracy, want to raise consumer awareness. “The people behind this business are not the cute Robin Hoods who make free content available to people who don’t have the means, but people who don’t pay taxes, VAT, etc.Caroline Genneto continues. It should then be explained that piracy harms not only private groups, but all amateur sports, as part of the television rights is donated through the canteen tax (7%). But what is important is that piracy is now being taken into account in the midst of the damage it causes to the entire ecosystem. »
An almost Manichaean vision, perhaps too simplistic, that does not solve the main problem of football fans: watching football on TV is too expensive. In France, the fragmentation of the offer between Prime Video, Canal+, beIN Sports, RMC Sport or Eurosport and others is one of the main reasons for the use of piracy. “Search for movies and series, we find Netflix, OCS, Amazon Prime, Disney, Fox, Apple, etc.objected Caroline Genneto. In life, you also have to make choices. Not because we are talking about sports, we must offer a unique product. But look, fifteen years ago everyone was pirating music because it was easy, and today there are a lot of Spotify or Deezer subscribers. » While waiting to find your Spotify or Deezer, the football (and sports) world doesn’t want to let their guard down, and recent court rulings shouldn’t be the last.
CGI commentary by Caroline Genneto
Find our previous IPTV articles:
– Episode 1: IPTV kids
– Episode 2: IPTV, football without channels
– Episode 3: IPTV, who benefits from crime?