With the cooperation of Europol and Eurojust, Spanish police shut down Mobdro, said to be the world’s largest streaming pirate, with 43 million users worldwide. The shut-down took place after a criminal investigation and referral led by ACE and the English Premier League (EPL) football organization. The shut-downs were announced on March 11.
In addition to live sports programming, Mobdro also distributed TV shows, movies, gaming, music, podcasts and several dedicated on-demand channels.
According to Eurojust, investigations began in 2018 after complaints by La Liga (the Spanish Professional Football League), ACE and EPL. Programming with an estimated value of €5 Million was being distributed illegally to a worldwide user base.
Europol coordinated operations with law enforcement agencies in Spain, Portugal, Andorra and the Czech Republic, and in addition to searches in four locations, four individuals were taken into custody. Eurojust coordinated the ‘action day.’ More than 20 Web domains and servers were blocked. Europol’s IPC3 (Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition) supported the investigation phase.
Read further details:
- From Eurojust (the European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation)
- From Europol
- From the English Premier League
- From ACE (The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment)
Edit March 16: The Mobdro Android APK (SDK) was still available online several days after the site was shut down.
Why it matters
In a prepared statement, Premier League Director of Legal Services Kevin Plumb said: “Mobdro’s criminal enterprise amounted to long-running and large-scale theft. These raids show we and our colleagues at ACE are committed to taking action against piracy, regardless of location.
“The protection of our copyright is hugely important to the Premier League and our broadcast partners, as well as the future health of English football.”
Charles Rivkin, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association, added: “We are proud of our cooperation with the Premier League in this investigation and we send our congratulations to the Spanish National Police Cybercrime Central Unit and Europol.
“Such partnerships between content creators and local authorities are essential in protecting our members’ interests around the world.”