- Cielo 4K becomes the first IPTV service provider in Canada to get prosecuted
- The illegal platform offered 250 TV channels, most of which were broadcasted in full HD
- Videotron and Bell now united against piracy, forming specific reporting platforms
It seems that dynamic action against IPTV providers has been initiated in the otherwise peaceful country of Canada, with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police raiding a Montreal house that they located as the source of illegal IPTV services branded as “Cielo 4K”. This is the first time in five years that a media piracy case ends up in criminal justice, indicative of the intensification of the relevant prosecution activity that is manifesting around the globe recently. Of course, the fact that Bell and Videotron had filed a criminal complaint against the particular provider has also played a key role in Police’s action.
What the police found during their search includes 150 items of hardware, dozens of computers and models, and a couple of Bell, Videotron, and DirecTV receivers. Based on the findings, it is speculated that the four hackers that are involved in the case used the aforementioned hardware and their legitimate Bell and Videotron accounts to receive, capture, and then redistribute channels to the public. For an added layer of protection, the hackers used the Cloud hosting services of OVH which is known for hosting the majority of IPTV services without disclosing client information to the authorities.
IPTV services are on the rise globally, easily winning customers through their “premium” content subscription services that are offered at a fraction of the cost that someone would pay for the real deal. Cielo 4K offered 250 channels at a subscription cost of only $35 per month, 500 movies, and four channels streaming 4K content. Out of the total 250, 95% was streamed in HD and Full HD, so the services that the subscribers enjoyed were really top quality. This is precisely how IPTV providers that broadcast content illegally are growing so quickly and steadily.
Videotron and Bell have had their legal disputes in the past, but in this age of the IPTV rise, they have decided that it’s better to collaborate to fight against piracy. In 2018, they created a blacklist of hacker sites that they shared with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, filing complaints about those that they deemed as the most prominent. Cielo 4K was one of those, if not the top in terms of significance, as their operation extended to three residences in the country.
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