Popular IPTV app blocked in new 'track and trace' system

The IPTV crackdown is well underway, but there’s one strange thing about the app in question

A crackdown on illegal streaming is well underway with one popular IPTV app blocked for millions. But the weird thing about this one is the app carries zero illegal streams.

Over in the United States, eight massive media firms – including Netflix, Paramount, Disney and Amazon – have launched a massive legal case over IPTV and illegal streaming primarily through jailbroken Amazon Fire TV Sticks. This is where Internet Protocol television is used to supply premium content for free or through a cheaper, third party subscription that doesn’t own the copyright to the content being paid for.

With calls to take the case to trial, it could result in hefty fines for those accused of illegal streaming with up to $150,000 in damages available for every piece of copyright infringement.

The case in the US isn’t the only recent push back against piracy, with efforts in Italy hitting a major milestone through its game-changing Piracy Shield system.

And in Spain, a landmark ruling has been passed allowing those holding the copyright of premium content to track and trace IPTV suppliers before being issued with fines for ‘damages’.

Barcelona’s Commercial Court Number Eight passed the ruling earlier this year in what was a major blow to illegal streaming in Spain concerning the country’s top flight football competition, La Liga.

Watching premium sport on IPTV is illegal. (Getty Stock Images)

Watching premium sport on IPTV is illegal. (Getty Stock Images)

Confusion has been rife over exactly who can be tracked under the new lawful measures, with President of La Liga, Javier Tebas Medrano, suggesting those watching – not just supplying – were at risk.

One thing that is for certain is that broadband suppliers now have to work with La Liga when it comes to cracking down on IPTV.

It means companies such as Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, MasMovil and Digi have had to hand over details relating to illegal streaming on their networks.

And now, it seems that broadband suppliers are moving to block IPTV apps on their networks.

According to reports in Spain, one popular IPTV app – Smart IPTV – has stopped working for no apparent reason.

It was then shown that the IPTV service had been blocked for legal reasons by the vast majority of internet providers across Spain.

IPTV is used for piracy means by millions. (Getty Stock Images)

IPTV is used for piracy means by millions. (Getty Stock Images)

The blockage was reported earlier this month, with users who pay the service’s €5 sign up fee unable to watch.

It’s similar to what happened with another streaming platform called Ace Stream, with its servers blocked by internet suppliers.

The problem with blocking Smart IPTV is that it doesn’t host any illegal streaming channels, shows, or movies.

Available on the Google Play store, it says: “The application does not contain any channels, you have to add your own.”

But the IPTV crackdown in Spain isn’t concerned with apps that are perfectly legal.

An IPTV crackdown is under way (Getty Stock Images)

An IPTV crackdown is under way (Getty Stock Images)

As per La Liga’s own wording, the league says apps such as Smart IPTV ‘allow the consumption of an innumerable amount of audiovisual contents such as sports, movies, and series TV channels’.

“In other words, this problem affects the entire audiovisual and entertainment industry in general,” it adds.

Essentially it seems the app has been blocked due to the pre-emptive risk that people will then use it for illegal means.

The owners of Smart IPTV are now working around the blockage, with a hope it will soon be back online.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images

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

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