Piracy

Spanish Police Raids and Arrests 12 Pirate IPTV Network Members

By Bill Toulas / November 20, 2019

The Spanish police have announced that they dismantled a pirate IPTV network in the country after they raided various locations simultaneously and arrested twelve individuals. The total worth of the operation of the pirating network is estimated to be around a million Euros. This end result came after a two-year-long investigation, spreading across Madrid, Alicante, Tenerife, Toledo, Murcia, and the Gran Canaria. As for the hardware that was seized during the raids, this includes 10 computers, 15 hard drives, 17 mobile phones, 86 decoders, and 22000 Euros in cash.

The charges that the twelve individuals are now facing include intellectual property crime offenses, participation in a criminal organization, and money laundering. All of these charges pertain to the level of felonies, so the arrested individuals are at risk of receiving long-term imprisonment punishments. Among them, there are four who are considered to be higher-level members of the network, while the other eight were re-sellers of the illicit services. While all of them are involved in the operation, those who were in charge of capturing the broadcast signals and undertook the technical aspect of the distribution will be in greater trouble now.

As for which websites have been shut down, the police only told the press that the particular network was operating seven websites and promoted their services through two social media profiles. No particular domains have been disclosed yet, and the user reports on social media are mixed right now. It goes without saying that the police will now scrutinize the seized computers and hard drives, so everyone who collaborated with these twelve people will be exposed as well.

The last time we covered news about a police raid targeting a pirate IPTV network was only a month ago. The operation of that network amassed 6.5 million Euros, which indicates that these services are purely about making money and not about “ethical” file-sharing. Broadcasters and rightsholders feel that this money would instead end up in their pockets, but this is a misconception too. As the streaming market is getting more fragmented, the average consumer is finding it more costly to keep up with the content they want to consume. As such, pirate IPTV services are becoming more relevant to today’s reality, offering reasonably priced packages to those who want a piece of some good streaming entertainment.

Do you find police raids against IPTV service providers justified, or are they going overboard? Let us know where you stand in the comments down below, or join the discussion on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.



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