For the first time in Denmark, a court ruling has established that sites, that illegally offer streaming of live sport can and should be blocked. The case was brought by the Spanish football league LaLiga in cooperation with RettighedsAlliancen and paves the way for further blockings of illegal live streaming of sport and TV in general.
Live sport is very popular among Danes, but unfortunately not everyone obtains access to live streaming of sports matches legally. From February 2018 to February 2019, RettighedsAlliancen registered 18 million visits to the most popular illegal live sports services in Denmark. At the same time, RettighedsAlliancen observed an increase of 15 % to the services in the same period, and this is one of the reasons why RettighedsAlliancen in cooperation with the Spanish football league LaLiga now has led the first blocking injunction case concerning illegal streaming of live sports. Maria Fredenslund, CEO at RettighedsAlliancen, who litigated the case before the court explains:
“We see heavy traffic to websites that offer illegal live streaming of sports events. Especially football matches attract the attention of Danish users, and with an average of 1.4 million monthly visits by Danes there is talk of a widespread and very serious problem.”
A problem that, according to Maria Fredenslund, concerns not only the rightsholders, but also the users of the illegal services. Few people are aware of the risks of using illegal sites:
“Reports show that the risk of being infected with malware when using this type of illegal services is very high. At the same time, the huge amount of traffic to these sites generates a lot of money from ads, which ends up in the pockets of the criminals behind these sites”, Maria Fredenslund explains.
Blocking case paves the way
In this case RettighedsAlliancen and LaLiga has asked the court to order the Danish Internet Service Providers to block the 9 most popular illegal live sport streaming services. These services are the ones that are the most popular among Danish users and which have provided access to content that LaLiga owns the rights to.
LaLiga’s Audiovisual Director, Melcior Soler, explains that illegal streaming of LaLiga’s matches has been a big problem for a long time:
“Audiovisual Piracy is illegal and has great consequences, not only for us, but for the league and the future of the game, so we are very happy that RettighedsAlliancen has joined us in the fight. We know that Denmark is at the forefront of the development of digital tools to fight online piracy, and this is a big issue for us,” says Melcior Soler, and continues:
“We are now looking forward to seeing the effects of the blockings and hope that they can serve as an example for other countries, so that we can stand together in the fight against online piracy.”