Anti-piracy group FACT, a group of major Hollywood studios dedicated to stopping piracy and British telecom company Sky identified almost 50 illegal IPTV services in the United Kingdom with the help of regional law enforcement. The operators had been providing its users illegal access to premium TV and movies — some from Sky, according to a release from FACT.
“We understand the power of working with our partners to tackle the issue of illegal streaming, and we’re grateful to FACT and law enforcement for their support,” Matt Hibbert, Sky’s director of anti-piracy United Kingdon and ROI said in a statement.
Over a three-week period, cybercriminals were issued cease-and-desist warnings from officials in person, by post, and by email. FACT said the legal notices have led to a majority of services and advertising taken down. Illegal operations were detected in London, Dorset, Cambridgeshire, West Midlands, North Midlands, West Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, and Scotland.
“Consumers who pay for pirate services should also know that they are often funding serious organized crime groups,” Kieron Sharp, FACT CEO, said in a statement. “FACT and Sky remain committed to disrupting these criminal operations and protecting consumers from the many dangers of illegal streaming.”
This is just the latest scammer takedown in the seemingly never-ending battle against pirates using IPTV services to deliver illegal feeds. The problem has motivated everyone from pay-TV providers to sports leagues to get involved in rooting out these services. You could argue that battling pirates, as pervasive as they are, is wasted energy, especially when you consider the number of providers and users as well as the staggering amount of money piracy rakes in.
In comparison to what we knew of piracy in the early 2000s, it’s an entirely different beast today. Streaming services have largely replaced physical discs in popularity, but that’s just opened up new forms of piracy.
Due to the sheer number of services available today, it’s no longer economically feasible for many viewers to watch everything they want to. In addition, many services have raised their prices amid climbing inflation rates. The combination of factors has resulted in some consumers seeking out illegal options.
While it’s crucial that agencies continue to fight back against cybercriminals, a future fully eradicated of IPTV services is a highly unlikely one.