This week, the war on illegal IPTV streaming continues as Greek police shut down an IPTV service that reportedly costs broadcasters over €100 million. The service reportedly ran for eight years and earned over €25 million in profits.
According to a report by TorrentFreak, an IPTV service that has yet to be named was shut down by police, and ten men were arrested, a dozen cars seized, and over €100,000 in cash was seized. This was all done in a seizure of coordinated raids targeting the group that ran the IPTV streaming services.
IPTV services often look like legal services but sell access to live TV channels like ESPN and HBO without paying for the rights. This allows them to sell access to these channels for a fraction of what legal services pay.
“To collect the profits, the defendants chose manual collection, collection through digital banks based abroad, as well as through payments into their own and their family members’ bank accounts. In addition, in order to have full awareness and control of their clientele, the leading members of the criminal organization for each portal used a special subscriber management program (panel), which they installed on a computer or mobile phone.” Police said in a statement.
This news comes as just a few weeks ago, two IPTV owners were sentenced to Prison in Belfast Crown Court in the United Kingdom. This comes as the two were found guilty of selling IPTV services and pirate boxes designed to give illegal access to TV programs.
The two men were accused of selling devices that came with IPTV services built in to get free TV. These devices let people watch TV for a fraction of the cost of a cable TV subscription.
Padraig McVicker was sentenced to eight months and six in prison for running an IPTV. These sentences will run concurrently. His accomplice, Gary Doherty, was sentenced to 175 hours of community service. This comes as both men admitted to “selling, distributing or letting for hire or exposing for sale or hire an unauthorized decoder.”
Increasingly in the United States and around the world, media companies are pressuring governments to crack down on pirated content. This has led to a growing number of criminal prosecutions.