Tag Archives: Serie A

Italian Court Orders ISPs to Block IPTV Sites Over Serie A Piracy

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/italian-court-orders-isps-to-block-iptv-sites-over-serie-a-piracy-200121/

In common with several top football leagues around Europe, Italy’s Serie A has an ongoing problem with piracy of its live broadcasts.

Sites with embedded streaming players regularly show Serie A matches but perhaps the biggest threat is posed by unlicensed IPTV services. These offer subscription packages that closely mimic and can even outdo those delivered by Serie A’s official broadcasting partners.

This has provoked a range of anti-piracy actions, such as the one now being reported by anti-piracy group FAPAV (Federazione Anti-Pirateria Audiovisiva). Following a complaint by Serie A and a request from the public prosecutor’s office, the Court of Rome has handed down a preventative ruling that requires 15 websites offering ‘pirate’ IPTV services to be blocked in Italy.

“Among the methods of access to pirated content, illegal IPTVs are a phenomenon of great importance and with a growing incidence linked not only to audiovisual content but also to live sporting events,” says FAPAV Secretary-General, Federico Bagnoli Rossi.

“According to FAPAV / Ipsos research, five million people use this method to watch movies, series and TV shows. As regards sports content in particular, 4.7 million people watched live sports events in a non-legal manner, a figure that has increased compared to 2017.”

FAPAV says that these types of pirate services not only cause damage to the entertainment industries but also to the economy as a whole. As a result, those affected cannot wait any longer before taking action to stem the tide.

While the ruling from the Court of Rome is yet to be published, the big question here is how effective these types of blockades can be, given the way that IPTV services are set up.

As previously reported, Sky has been working hard to have IPTV service management platform URLs removed from Google search. However, other than a reduction in search traffic, the tactic does little if anything to affect the underlying IPTV services which are generally not run from the domains in question.

Furthermore, the effect of blocking sales portal domains does nothing to counter the thousands of resellers funneling customers to the platforms either. It’s an important point that FAPAV appears to recognize, even going as far as suggesting that customers themselves could become part of their inquiries.

“The ongoing investigations have as a main objective the identification of the complex structure of the organization made up of dozens of ‘resellers’ as well as the hundreds of customers who, by purchasing the subscriptions, not only illegally take advantage of the vision of sporting events and pay-per-view television schedules, but also feed the criminal circuit,” the group says.

“The piracy market represents a very thriving business that rests on a large number of customers who feed it, probably unaware of the consequences to which they expose themselves and of the economic damage to the rights holders when compared to citizens who honestly buy regular products.”

It’s clear that no single aspect of anti-piracy activity, whether that’s sales site blocking or targeting some resellers, will bring all pirate IPTV services to their knees. Instead, groups like FAPAV are deploying a multi-pronged strategy that attempts to disrupt activity wherever it can, thus making life more difficult for pirates and their customers.

Blocking of IPTV services has been taking place in Italy since at least 2017 and in the summer of 2019, a “high-level” provider was taken down after providing Sky programming to the public.

Italian authorities were also heavily involved in the raids that targeted Xtream-Codes and others last year, an operation that caused the most disruption the IPTV scene has ever seen, even if it did eventually recover.

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1XBET Ads Appeared on 1,200 ‘Pirate’ Sites in Past Six Months

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/1xbet-ads-appeared-on-1200-pirate-sites-in-past-six-months-190906/

Visitors to ‘pirate’ sites are no strangers to the Russia-based gambling company 1XBET.

As reported back in May, the company’s branding appears on hundreds of so-called ‘cam’ releases, much to the annoyance of people hoping to enjoy a movie without unnecessary interruptions.

The mechanism through which these ads appear in ‘pirate’ releases isn’t clear. As we’ve previously pointed out, there’s no public information that 1XBET directly sponsors ‘pirate’ releases or whether over-enthusiastic affiliates are to blame. Nevertheless, things were bound to boil over at some point.

In August, we pointed out a bizarre situation in Italy, where top tier football league Serie A launched an anti-piracy campaign, decrying piracy of all kinds – of movies too – with 1XBET advertising directly underneath. In fact, 1XBET is an official presenting partner for Serie A which has its ads all over its site.

While Serie A currently seems untroubled by these developments, Premier League clubs in the UK – who are also quick to criticize pirates – have a bigger and more immediate problem.

Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur – which all previously struck sponsorship deals with 1XBET – recently received communication from the UK’s Gambling Commission noting that after having its license revoked (in part due to its advertising on ‘illegal’ sites), the clubs cannot continue doing business with 1XBET.

“We recently wrote to Liverpool FC, Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC to remind them that organizations engaging in sponsorship, and associated advertising arrangements, with an unlicensed operator, may be liable to prosecution . . . for the offense of advertising unlawful gambling,” the Commission reportedly told the clubs.

A few days ago, Tottenham announced that it had terminated its multi-million-pound sponsorship deal with the company. At the time of writing, Chelsea and Liverpool are yet to make an official announcement.

In response to the allegations, a 1XBET spokesperson said that is taking the matter seriously and, as such has, decided to stop operating in the UK, at least for the moment.

“We take very seriously the allegation that 1xBet’s brand has been promoted on prohibited sites, which is strictly against our policies, and we have launched an investigation. Pending the outcome…we believe it is responsible to temporarily suspend our advertising activity in the UK,” the company said.

With Matt Zarb-Cousin of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling describing the clubs’ lack of due diligence as “shocking” and an “absolute debacle”, TorrentFreak spoke with brand protection company White Bullet to find out if it had some additional data on the scale of 1XBET’s alleged advertising on ‘pirate’ platforms.

The company, which works with brands to identify websites and applications that damage brand reputation (including by funding online piracy), told us that it tracks around 10,000 ‘pirate’ sites, with that number depending on how many are online and have ad impressions to be counted.

“1,200 of those sites had 1XBET ads found on a regular basis over the last 6 months,” the company noted, adding that 25% were or still are on the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit’s IWL Infringing Website List (IWL).

Somewhat embarrassingly for Serie A and the above-named Premier League teams, 13% of the sites carrying 1XBET ads were ‘pirate’ sports streaming platforms and categorized as “high risk” by White Bullet.

All in all, this is an interesting completion of the funding circle as far as the clubs go, not to mention the Premier League’s constant complaints about piracy.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN reviews, discounts, offers and coupons.

Serie A Launches Anti-Piracy Campaign But Shares ‘Sponsor’ With Pirate Movies

Post Syndicated from Andy original https://torrentfreak.com/serie-a-launches-anti-piracy-campaign-but-shares-sponsor-with-pirate-movies-190811/

There can be little doubt that the wide availability of unlicensed streaming portals and IPTV services is causing grave concern among football leagues all over Europe.

The Premier League has been particularly vocal about this growing form of piracy and has taken matters to the UK High Court, obtaining blocking orders which enable it to take action in real-time, with the help of Internet service providers.

With the new season about to start this month, Italy’s top-tier football league Serie A has launched an anti-piracy campaign of its own, declaring that “Piracy Kills Football” alongside the hashtag #STOPIRACY which it hopes fans will spread across social media.

“The Serie A League is at the forefront of addressing the scourge of piracy, we must defend football against this criminal attack and make it clear to those who use illegal decoders that they are committing a real crime,” says Serie A president Gaetano Miccichè.

“The problem is global and damages football at all levels. We are strengthening the tools to identify and counter acts of piracy in real-time, but it is essential for us to create a system together with the help of the Government and the telecoms operators.”

Piracy Kills Football (Image credit: Serie A)

However, it’s the comments of Serie A CEO Luigi De Siervo that serve to raise a wry smile when viewed from a wider angle to encompass all kinds of video piracy and a Serie A sponsorship deal in particular.

“Piracy is a criminal phenomenon, implemented by people who do not realize the seriousness of what they are doing,” the CEO writes. “Continuing will end up destroying the content creation industry, the cinema, TV, print media, but also and above all football, the quintessential premium product.”

Citing the potential destruction of the cinema is an interesting choice.

Readers may recall our recent article which detailed the activities of Russia-based gambling company, 1XBET. In a nutshell, the majority of CAM-copies of movies (those filmed in cinemas and released online during their theatrical release), currently contain lots of advertising and promo codes for 1XBET.

Pirate releases with 1XBET branding

According to SportBusiness Sponsorship, 1XBET is actually an official presenting partner for Serie A and as a result, its ads can be found almost everywhere on Serie A’s site. It even has its own ‘Player Profile’ page where the betting company is the star of the show. But there’s more.

“The three-year deal will run until 2021, making 1XBet the league’s International Presenting Partner, covering Europe, Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and the Americas,” the publication notes.

“As part of the deal, 1XBet will be featured in all match graphics, idents and virtual goal mat advertising in all live Serie A broadcasts.”

GOAL….sponsored by 1XBET

Bizarrely, given the coverage that 1XBET has received in relation to piracy and CAM copies of movies, its ads are also running on the very same page as Serie A’s anti-piracy campaign, right across the bottom of the screen and under the comments claiming that piracy is destroying cinema.

We’ve embedded some of the Serie A page below, so the context is clear in respect of the anti-piracy language (particularly that involving the cinema) and the positioning of the 1XBET advertising.

“1XBET is a gambling company originating from Russia that uses cam copies to advertise itself internationally,” Dmitry Tyunkin, Deputy Director of Anti-Piracy and Brand Protection at cyber-security firm Group-IB, previously told TorrentFreak.

As noted earlier, there’s no overwhelming evidence available to the general public that 1XBET itself is driving camming ‘sponsorship’ directly, even though the prevalence of the branding and advertising in pirate movie releases tends to suggest otherwise. Maybe pirates have taken it upon themselves to advertise the company in releases just for kicks., who knows.

Having said all that, Serie A doesn’t appear to consider any of this a problem, even when the same advertising appears on the same page as their very own anti-piracy campaign. Strange times indeed.

Finally, Serie A team Juventus promoted the campaign on Twitter. See for yourself how it went down with fans. Many cited much bigger issues as responsible for the impending death of football, not least (but not limited to) the extortionate prices fans are expected to pay to watch matches.

Mile 22 with 1XBET ads

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