Premier League issues 'stark IPTV warning' after huge victory against illegal streamer

The operator of one of the UK’s most popular illegal IPTV providers has been sentenced

The Premier League has issued a ‘stark IPTV warning’ following a landmark victory against one of the most popular providers of illegal streaming in the United Kingdom, Europe and the US.

Regarded by many as the best football league in the world – and certainly the league with the most money – the Premier League is ramping up its game when it comes to cracking down on those who don’t want to pay for its content.

It’s nothing new, with the league having a lengthy battle against illegal streaming. Anyone remember LimeWire or am I just showing my age?

Well, the league is celebrating a massive victory this week following a massive piracy case win centred around IPTV.

For those who might not quite know, IPTV is Internet Protocol television; a system that lets you watch TV online whether terrestrial, satellite or cable.

The issue is that it’s increasingly harnessed by organised criminals, who supply live feeds to channels that come with a fee, such as Sky Sports and TNT Sports to watch the Premier League.

It’s also used to provide links to TV shows and films that once again, you’d usually be expected to pay for. So you can understand why those that own the copyright or licence content would be miffed at not getting their dues.

It’s why Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and six other mega corporations have teamed up for a landmark legal case in the States.

The Premier League is cracking down. (Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

The Premier League is cracking down. (Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

With this in mind, this week’s win is seen as that big a victory that the Premier League’s General Counsel, Kevin Plumb, said it serves as a ‘stark warning to anyone involved in the illegal supply’ of illegal streaming.

It concerns illegal IPTV subscription service BestBuy IPTV that reportedly charged $70 (£56) a year to use its library of 10,000 live channels spanning 38 countries as well as 19,000 TV shows and films on demand.

Well, the criminal running the illicit business – a Mr Le Hai Nam in Vietnam – has this week been convicted of online copyright infringement.

Following referrals by the Premier League and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) earlier this month (19 April), the People’s Court of Hanoi handed down Vietnam’s first-ever criminal sentence for copyright infringement.

BestBuy IPTV became that notorious that it made the US Trade Representative’s Notorious Markets List during the last five years for its crimes relating to the illegal supply of copyrighted content involving films, sports, and TV shows to not just Vietnamese people but buyers across the globe.

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

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

Cash amounting to $24,000 was confiscated from Nam upon his arrest and put into the public purse.

Nam confessed to his crimes and was given a 30-month suspended prison sentence. He was also told to pay $4,000 (£3,216) and a further $12,000 (£9,648) in compensation.

The Premier League’s General Counsel, Kevin Plumb, said: “This result should serve as a stark warning to anyone involved in the illegal supply of Premier League streams in Vietnam. It is the result of a strong partnership between the Vietnamese authorities and local law enforcement, ACE and the Premier League.

“The criminal conviction sets a significant precedent for future initiatives aimed at protecting intellectual property rights in Vietnam and beyond.

“We will continue to work with our local broadcast partner K+ to educate fans of the dangers of streaming Premier League football through pirate services and to remind them that the safest way to watch matches in the best quality is through our official licensee.”

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

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

Judge Le Hai Yen of the Hanoi People’s Court, said: “The defendant has violated the provisions of the law which protect the copyright and related rights of the Motion Picture Association’s members and the English Premier League.

“Such crimes are a danger to society and needed to be strictly enforced and prosecuted. The case should serve as a deterrent to others.”

The conviction comes just days after another popular IPTV app was blocked for millions in Europe. The only confusion with this was that this app didn’t supply any illegal content.

Featured Image Credit: Marc Atkins/Getty Images/Getty Stock Images

Topics: Crime, Football, Premier League, Sport, TV, TV and Film, Technology, UK News, World News

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