Europol and the Spanish police dismantled, this week, a vast European IPTV traffic, this Wednesday, November 16th. 2,600 television channels and more than 23,000 films and series were offered by the pirate network, which had more than 500,000 users in Europe. A total of four people were arrested by police in Malaga, Andalusia. An investigation was opened concerning 95 resellers.
Cases have multiplied in recent months in Europe.
Although illegal, IPTV is still popular around the world. Belgium is no exception to the phenomenon since thousands of people have already succumbed to the charms of the service which, as a reminder, allows you to enjoy a range of channels at very low prices via a box running Android that is connected to the television or via an application directly installed on a SmartTV.
What is illegal is the content when the content accessed by the user is distributed by a third party or an aggregation. Either way, it’s illegal.
The hackers behind IPTV hijack the signal sent by television channels or traditional telecom operators, the newspaper “le Soir” recently explained.
A manipulation that violates the European directive on access control and the legislation on copyright and the protection of technical measures. Indeed, the latter protects the works distributed from this type of theft and misappropriation.
However, users expose themselves to a risk. First, a fine ranging from 500 to… 100,000 euros!
They also face prison sentences of up to five years in prison. Damages may also be claimed from them by the rights holders.
However, this does not seem to put many users off. We obviously do not have statistics concerning the holders of these famous small boxes in Belgium, but as a trader specializing in telephony in the Namur region explains, “the demand is enormous”. “Today, at least 70%-80% of people who are connected to a Proximus or Voo network have IPTV. It is enormous. »
“For my part, I remain very cautious about that and I do not advertise it,” explains our interlocutor. “I only sell it to my friends. If a person I don’t know phones me at the store and asks me if I have any, I don’t follow up because, if, overnight, it goes wrong, my friends know very well that they took one. risk… “
If it is not a wild trade, our man does not hide it, the quality/price ratio is extremely interesting. “The most expensive subscription is €150. But here you have thousands of channels at your disposal. I watched again yesterday: there are 57,000 films available…”