BREIN Shuts Down Pirate IPTV Service, Users Get a ‘Warning’

  • July 11, 2024

The Internet is littered with shady IPTV services that offer a lot, for very little money.

These deals often seem too good to be true and in most cases they are; at least for those who prefer to stay on the right side of the law.

Anti-piracy groups around the world are actively trying to shut down these illicit operations. In Europe, Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN is at the forefront of the battle.

Catching IPTV Pirates

In 2017, BREIN booked a prominent victory at the European Court of Justice, which ruled that it’s illegal to sell devices that are pre-configured to access copyright-infringing content. This “Filmspeler” decision ended all theories that sellers of pirate streaming boxes somehow operated in a gray area.

Combined with the earlier GS Media ruling, which held that companies with a for-profit motive can’t knowingly link to copyright-infringing material, rightsholders could rely on a powerful enforcement tool.

These legal aspects are just one part of the equation. To shut down a pirate IPTV operation, one also has to know who the opponent is. And with operators often trying hard to remain anonymous, that’s not always easy.

BREIN Shuts Down and Settles with IPTVpremium

This also applied to a local IPTV vendor, IPTVpremium (presumably this one), which sold subscriptions that enabled access to a broad selection of TV channels, sports, and content from all major streaming platforms for just €70 annually.

The IPTV vendor tried to mask his identity but with help from anti-piracy and cybercrime outfit Irdeto, BREIN managed to identify its target. With that information in hand, BREIN chose to confront the man.

Without an intervention from the court, BREIN compelled the operator to cease his IPTV selling activities, which he did. The man also agreed to pay an undisclosed settlement fee and 7,500 euros per day if any future infringements occur.

This type of takedown is exemplary for BREIN. Instead of initiating a lengthy court case for high damages, it prefers swift action. Key in this process is that the message gets through to consumers as well.

In its press release, BREIN highlights the fact that the service was terminated effective immediately. Obviously, existing subscribers are not reimbursed, even if they bought their €70 subscription just days ago.

“Purchasing a set-top box with an illegal IPTV subscription is comparable to fencing. Every time the user turns on the box and starts watching a movie or TV series, they engage in copyright infringement and act unlawfully,” BREIN director Bastiaan van Ramshorst says.

Subscribers Notified

TorrentFreak reached out to BREIN for more details but, due to the confidential nature of the settlement, the group can’t confirm the scale of the damages or the number of active subscribers the service had.

iptvBREIN agreed with the IPTV vendor that all subscribers, who ordered and communicated via WhatsApp, had to be notified about the shutdown and the illegal nature of the service.

The message, translated from Dutch, reads as follows:

You have an IPTV package subscription with us that provides access to evidently illegally offered television channels, movies and series.

It is established in case law that the sales of these types of IPTV packages is not allowed, and that you, the customer, violate copyright law each time you use it.

For this reason we have been summoned by BREIN to stop the sales of these illegal IPTV Packages immediately and to inform you about it.

The message doesn’t directly suggest that any users are in trouble, and we don’t expect them to be. However, BREIN likely hopes that if losing access to a paid subscription isn’t bad enough, the message will serve as an additional deterrent.

From: TF, for the latest news on copyright battles, piracy and more.

Source : BREIN Shuts Down Pirate IPTV Service, Users Get a ‘Warning’