Italy: Police, courts, rights organizations collaborate in €1M Venice pirate site seizure

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Italy’s Guardia di Finanza, a law enforcement agency under the Italian Ministry of Finance responsible for financial crime and smuggling, executed a decree issued by the Court of Teramo to seize a pirate Web site and 11 Postepay cards used to distribute streaming TV services online.

Consumers subscribed to the pirate streaming service for €10 per month, which offered movie, sports and TV series programming from Sky, DAZN, Mediaset, Infinity, Spotify and others.

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22 people were involved in decryption and distribution through a network of 48 resellers; to more than 65,000 subscribers.  Customer paments were processed through a Lithuanian bank account.  It was estimated that the operation brought in more than €1 million per year.

Read the news release from Guardia di Finanza (in Italian)

Read the statement from FAPAV, Italy’s Federation for Protection of Audiovisual and Multimedia Content. (Translated from Italian by Google Translate)

Why it matters

Again, collaboration made all the difference.

The investigation that resulted in this seizure was begun in 2019 by the Economic and Financial Police of Venice, which had identified the Web site and use of payment cards which are issued by the Italian postal service.

It collaborated with the courts, the Guardia di Finanza, with SIAE (Italian Society of Authors and Publishers), and with FAPAV (Federation for the Protection of Audiovisual and Multimedia Content).

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