UK: Court order enables Sky to request immediate blocking of pirate streaming by ISPs

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The UK High Court blocking order for Sky requires Internet service providers to protect not only sports programming but also a broader range of content that spans its entire programming lineup, according to reporting by Broadband TV News and the Financial Times.

Now, Sky has the authority to take down individual pirate sites during specific times. A third-party group identifies the source of illegal streams via IP addresses or dedicated servers, which is then provided to internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to these locations on their networks.

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The order applies to sporting events distributed through Sky Sports, as well as to TV shows from HBO when they are first distributed via Sky Atlantic.

It’s similar to blocking legislation just passed in Italy, which requires ISPs to shut down pirate streams within 30 minutes of a blocking request.

Not the first, not the last

In May 2023, five individuals out of a group of six were sentenced to a total of more than 30 years in prison for operating a pirate service called Flawless, which provided illegal access to watch Premier League matches, on-demand dilms and TV shows.  It employed 30 people, had more than 50,000 end users and resellers, and generated £7 million over the course of five years.

The investigation and prosecution undertaken by the Premier League was supported by a number of organizations.  “The successful result was made possible thanks to the invaluable support of numerous law enforcement agencies,” said Keiron Sharp, CEO of FACT, a UK-based intellectual property protection organization.

Further reading:

Sky wins court order to block illegal streaming of hit shows and football. Article. By Daniel Thomas. July 29, 2023. Financial Times (London)

Sky court order blocks illegal streaming. Article. By Julian Clover. July 31, 2023. Broadband TV News.

EPL blocked 600,000 illegal streams last season. Article. August 2, 2023. Sports Business Journal

UK: Premier League, FACT, tout 30 years of jail terms for band o pirates – the longest ever. Article. By Steven Hawley. May 30, 2023. Piracy Monitor

Why it matters

Blocking has proven to be highly effective in the UK and elsewhere.  Premier League 2021 blocking orders in the UK successfully blocked more than 600,000 illegal live streams

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