Spain’s LaLiga football league ended 2022 with three stand-out legal successes against piracy and the protection of the audiovisual content of its Clubs.
These judicial resolutions reinforce LaLiga’s position in the protection of the legitimate audiovisual content belonging to the clubs, whose audiovisual income is one of its main assets.
Rojadirecta pirate site
Following legal proceedings initiated by LaLiga together with the Danish association Rettigheds Alliancen, the Frederiksberg (Denmark) court issued a decision on December 13, 2022, confirming the blocking of the illegal website rojadirecta.me in Denmark.
The Danish court declared that LaLiga broadcasts are the expression of free, creative and personal choices, and therefore, are original creations that qualify for copyright protection. By making LaLiga broadcasts available to the public on the “rojadirecta” website, its operator Puerto 80 Projects SLU infringed LaLiga’s copyright and therefore qualified to be blocked there. It is unknown as to whether or not this decision may be appealed.
Illegal app withdrawn from Google Play and Huawei appstores
On December 22, 2022, a Madrid court issued an order to withdraw the popular “IPTV SMARTERS PRO” app from the Google Play store. The app gave access to premium television channels which included LaLiga matches. This resolution joins an April 2022 court order which ordered both Google and Huawei to withdraw the popular player application “newPlay” from their Stores for giving illegal access to LaLiga matches.
While the app appears to have been withdrawn from Google Play, the IPTV Smarters Web site is still active at the time of this writing.
Intellectual Property Rights ratified
On December 23, 2022, a Spanish court declared facilitating internet access to “works or benefits subject to intellectual property”, including LaLiga matches, without reference to their having to be “of an artistic, scientific or literary nature,” carries prison sentences of 6 months to 4 years, and can reach 6 years in prison in cases in which the conduct is aggravated.
LaLiga Tech leverages its own technology services
LaLiga’s LaLiga Tech unit develops and maintains its own technology platform. The platform protects content from online piracy through monitoring in real time. It scans channels where piracy is being marketed, distributed or promoted, removes it and collects evidence to streamline legal procedures.
Another LaLiga service tracks real-time data from the world’s major betting markets to analyse patterns around any given event, providing alerts for any anomalies that could suggest potential match-fixing.
Read the original article about LaLiga’s legal wins: LaLiga finaliza el 2022 ganando varias batallas legales contra la pirateria (LaLiga ends 2022 by winning several wins against piracy), LaLiga, December 28, 2022. (Auto-translated from Spanish to English by Google Translate)
Read about the Danish Rights Aliance participation in the Rojadirecta case
Why it matters
These decisions are fundamental to sustaining the professional football industry, which employs 185,000 people in Spain generates 1.37% of GDP and contributes €4.1 billion to Spanish society through its taxes.
LaLiga offers its technology platform commercially as a service to other video providers which include Sky, the Royal Belgian Football Association and the Jupiler Pro League. Its services include content protection and anti-piracy, consumer analytics and competition management.