September 11 – Pirate broadcaster Rojadirecta has been judged illegal in Denmark and will now be blocked by internet providers. The decision by a Danish court comes after a joint complaint by LaLiga and Danish copyright protection agency RettighedsAlliancen.
Rojadirecta offers a menu of stolen live sports worldwide but focuses on football that generates the bulk of its own advertising revenue and data collection.
In Denmark the pirate service saw 19,000 visitors to LaLiga matches in just the month of the proceedings of the case.
At the heart of the LaLiga case was the assertion that illegal streamed and unlicensed matches were the used to attract traffic and hence advertising revenue.
Such is the brazen confidence of pirate broadcasters that in this case Rojadirecta even appeared at the court hearing to argue that the blocking of its signal by internet providers was an illegal restriction for consumers – despite the fact it never had or ever intended to pay for the broadcast rights it steals illegally.
“Rojadirecta appeared in court and presented a defence but was convicted and blocked nonetheless – just like other illegal services. It stands to confirm that the blocking system works even if it is challenged, and of course we are very pleased with this,” said Maria Fredenslund, CEO of RettighedsAlliancen.
The significance of blocking signal entry to a market is that while rulings of copyright theft are relatively easy to get, that ruling doesn’t stop the pirates. It is only by cutting off their distribution – in this case the use of blocking as an enforcement tool – that live rights can be protected.
Melcior Soler, the director of LaLiga’s audiovisual department, said: “Blocking one of the best-known pirated content sites is a very important achievement. With this victory we feel more protected, as do our broadcasters, and also our audiovisual value.”
Fredenslund added that it also provided a level of internet protection for consumers:
“When navigating on illegal services, studies show that there is an increased risk of being affected by malware because the criminal offenders who operate the services do not prioritize the safety of users, but merely their own financial gain,” she said.
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