IPTV and 'jailbroken' Amazon Fire Stick users can now be tracked and fined for illegal streaming

A landmark court ruling has been passed

A crackdown on the world of IPTV and illegal streaming using ‘jailbroken’ devices such as Amazon Fire Sticks has begun, with powers now in play to haul people before courts to be fined.

The world of IPTV [internet protocol television] is only set to grow, according to experts, with one million new users expected across Europe in the next few years.

How does IPTV work?

More and more people are using ‘dodgy sticks’, where they use legitimate streaming devices like Amazon Fire Sticks to download illegal streaming apps.

You do this by ‘jailbreaking’ the operating system, meaning you can install apps not available on official app stores.

Watching IPTV is completely legal as long as you don’t use it to stream content that is paid-for. So if you use it for Netflix, Sky Sports, Apple TV+, Disney+ or TNT Sports, you’re breaking copyright laws.

And now, a landmark court ruling has been passed that means you could be tracked and hauled before the courts for streaming one particular kind of content.

The ruling has been brought in by a judge in Barcelona, via an order of the city’s Commercial Court number eight.

Amazon Fire Sticks are often hacked for illegal streaming means.

Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

What content can result in a fine?

It means that anyone illegally streaming the top Spanish football league, La Liga, can be fined.

Broadband suppliers will have to supply La Liga with the details of all users who connect to servers that are streaming premium sport for free. This includes the likes of Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, MasMovil and Digi.

The court order says: “There are reasonable indications that content, works or services subject to the audiovisual rights of La Liga are being made available or disseminated directly or indirectly without respecting the provisions of the Intellectual Property Law.”

It goes on: “It cannot be considered that the registered illegal activity associated with the identified IPs has been carried out by consumers in good faith and without the intention of obtaining economic or commercial benefits.”

The president of La Liga, Javier Tebas said the ‘issue is simple’, saying: “In an order it has been decreed that TV operators are obliged to give LaLiga clients who connect to certain IP addresses that we will provide them.”

It is illegal to watch premium content for free using IPTV.

Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Tebas also described the fines ‘damages’ because it is ‘illegal to consume this content for free’.

It is unclear if this will apply to those who use VPNs, which hides a users real IP address by making it look like they are connecting to an internet service from another location.

In the UK, a recent crackdown has seen the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) at City of London Police, the Premier League, and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) team up with one man arrested and 10 questioned over supplying devices for illegal streaming.

Featured Image Credit: Matt Cardy/Getty Images/Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Topics: Amazon, Amazon Prime, Crime, TV and Film, Technology, World News

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