Two piracy ‘masterminds’ convicted by Denmark, penalties are anti-climactic

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The Danish Rights Alliance announced the conviction of two Danish men for selling illegal access to 90 Danish channels including TV2, TV3 and Kanal 5, and 5,100 international TV channels; plus other streaming services. The two individuals participated in a Spain-based piracy operation that reached more than 2 million subscribers.  In June 2020, a total of eleven individuals were arrested, including three from Denmark.  The operation was raided and shut down in a collaboration between Europol and law enforcement agencies across 16 countries including the US, Canada, the UK and in Europe.

The roots of Danish involvement came in 2019 when the Danish Rights Alliance suspected that the Danes were ‘masterminds’ of the piracy operation and requested that the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (SØIK) join a Spanish investigation that was already underway.

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The two Danes pleaded guilty to the piracy charges, and each received suspended sentences of four months, and fines of DKK 38,000 (about US$5,000).  It was estimated that they made about DKK 200,000 (about US$26,800) from their illegal activities.

Read the Rights Aliance press release “125,000 Danish households use illegal IPTV” August 19, 2022 (auto-translated from Danish to English via Google Translate)

Read about the June 2020 Europol operation

Why it matters

Unfortunately, the penalties against the two Danish men seemed low, given the nature of their crime, the revenue they gained, and the expense of the international law enforcement operation.  The case demonstrates the value of international collaboration, in this case, an enormous effort.

Responding to the fact that piracy is on the rise in Denmark, Rights Alliance Director Maria Fredenslund said: “Developments in (the distribution and use of illegal TV and access to streaming services) have the Rights Alliance’s full attention. The police’s work … is of great importance to the effect of the efforts we make to protect services and content from abuse.”

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