IPTV Services Find Themselves Target of a New Law to Stop Pirate Streaming Services




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A new plan to stop illegal IPTV services in Italy could prevent millions of stolen live sports content. 

In July, Italy unanimously passed a law to crack down on IPTV services streaming live games. The law grants Italy’s communications and competition regulator, AGCOM, the ability to quickly disable illegal channels within 30 minutes of issuing an order, according to Reuters. AGCOM can block domain names and network traffic routed to IP addresses identified as illicit services. It can also stop future domain names from hosting the same illegally accessed content, preventing pirates from shutting down and switching to new addresses.

“This is a key measure to protect copyright and finally black out pirate sites in a timely manner,” said Lorenzo Casini, president of Italian soccer (football) league Serie A, according to Reuters.

DAZN, a sports media company, estimates piracy costs the entire sports industry $316.9 million annually. Serie A and other broadcasters urged Italy’s Senate to pass stricter legislation against piracy. 

The law went into effect on August 8. IPTVs streaming games would receive a near-instant block, a prison sentence for illegal broadcasters, and a fine of up to 5,000 euros for individuals caught using such services. However, only 100 pirated streams have been blocked since then, according to Torrent Freak.

Although the law was enacted before Serie A’s new season started on August 20, the blocking measures won’t be enabled until a “technical roundtable” is held in September. The broadcasters pressing for legislation didn’t complete the technical legwork beforehand and waited until the Senate passed the law. 

It will take time to smooth out details like preventing over-blocking, when legit streams are  erroneously misidentified as piracy, and developing for the platform software will take time. The system may launch in October, according to La Repubblica.  

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