New Arrests, Blocks, and Seizures Hit Services from Every Angle *TorrentFreak

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Over the past few days, there has been a new wave of anti-piracy activity as rights holders around the world attempt to combat the growing threat of pirate IPTV services. With arrests, blockades, domain seizures and targeted DMCA takedowns, the gloves are certainly coming off in 2022, but the size of the mission ahead is not easily underestimated.

While illegal IPTV subscriptions maintain their popularity among those looking for a cheap live TV solution, rights holders around the world are scrambling to counter the threat.

Broadcasters and sports leagues are exerting significant pressure, but with VOD services now part of many pirate IPTV packages, Hollywood studios such as Disney and distribution platforms such as Netflix and Apple are playing a prominent role.

Yesterday we reported new activity from the anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), which included seizures of IPTV domains. Today we can report further actions, not only from ACE, but also from other players in the sports and broadcast ecosystem using a range of anti-piracy tools.

ACE dismantles and seizes Seko IPTV

In a 2020 submission to the U.S. Trade Representative, Spanish soccer league La Liga flagged several illegal television services for violating its rights. Among them was Seko IPTV, a service that, thanks to ACE, is no longer operational.

sekoiptv-packs

Seko IPTV emerged more than five years ago in May 2016. Back then, it offered about 3,200 channels according to its own data, as well as a VOD (video on demand) service offering movies and TV shows.

Promoted for Mag boxes, Smart TVs, Enigma, VLC, Kodi, smartphone, tablets and other devices, the service more recently had over 9,000 live channels and 20,000 videos in its VOD library. However, he now appears to have reached the end of the road after ACE and the MPA took control of his domains.

Sekoiptv.com, sekoiptv.ml, sekoiptv.live and sekoip.tv are now under the administration of the MPA in the United States, which tends to suggest that their operator(s) may have entered into some sort closing settlement with ACE/MPA. All domains now redirect to the ACE anti-piracy portal, so old customers of the service will be in for a nasty surprise.

Other IPTV-related domains seized by ACE/MPA in recent days (in addition to those released over the weekend) include srvtekn.com, vpnuser.ws and smarteriptvmanchester.com.

Police arrest two people for IPTV piracy

On Friday evening, Spanish authorities reported that following complaints by professional football league La Liga, an investigation by the Policía Nacional has been opened into the supply of set-top boxes and subscriptions to an illegal IPTV service.

The Navarre region was reported as a place of interest and the police investigation subsequently identified two suspects in the Merindad de Estella. Two operations codenamed “Lígalo” and “Tyche” were assigned to the Technological Crime Unit of the Provincial Judicial Police Brigade (Grupo de Delincuencia Tecnológica de la Brigada Provincial de Policía Judicial).

After a court in Estella cleared warrants, two people were arrested and detained on suspicion of providing illegal subscription access to otherwise premium TV channels.

As in other cases involving such services, the name of the platform has not yet been made available, but according to local reports, the Policía Nacional has asked a court to issue an order that will compel local ISPs to block its domains to prevent further infringements. .

Police arrest six people and seize 24,400 pirate boxes

This morning, the Spanish National Police and the country’s tax agency further announced the arrest of six people and the seizure of 24,430 television sets in Madrid. According to authorities, the group sold the devices on various web platforms and through its own forum, from which technical support was provided to customers.

“The analysis of the bank accounts of those investigated revealed income from illicit activity of 1.2 million euros between 2017 and 2021,” said a police statement.

Nagravision removes popular IPTV repository

In a DMCA notice filed in late January on Github, conditional access systems developer Nagravision requested the removal of IPTV-org, a popular location for people looking for free IPTV playlists.

Nagra claimed that some of the channels found in a particular playlist violated the rights of various Discovery channels and as a result the repository was completely disabled.

It’s unclear exactly what happened in the following days, but potentially after the breaches were resolved, the repo is now back online, providing access to nearly 30,000 channels via its own search engine.

In a DMCA notice filed with Github in early February, anti-piracy team Group-IB demanded the removal of a script that allows users to watch movies for free using IDs assigned to movies and TV shows through the Russian official video database Kinopoisk.

“This script gives access to illegal content – a database of pirated players, accessible using this script for any title with the Kinopoisk ID, which constitutes a serious violation of the rights of the holders of copyrights,” the complaint reads.

ISPs set to block pirate IPTV in Malta

Finally, it looks like pirate IPTV subscribers in Malta may soon find access to their services cut off after a judge ordered local ISPs to block hundreds of IP addresses used by infringing platforms.

Local reports indicate that a decision was issued on February 2 by the First Chamber of the Civil Court to protect the rights of Spanish first and second division football league matches.

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