06 June 2016


Italian Guardia di Finanzia Blitz against TV piracy: 5 people arrested, 50 pirate sites and 44 servers seized

The Special Operation Unit of the Guardia di Finanzia has dealt a severe blow to pirates, arresting 5 suspects, obscuring 41 servers located in 3 continents, and seizing 3 servers in Italy and 50 illegal sites.

The officers of the Special Unit Technology Fraud performed numerous searches in various Italian regions as part of an investigation coordinated by prosecutors in Rome. The action was aimed at fighting the growing phenomenon of illegal streaming, including the web broadcasting of sports events, movies, TV shows and concerts, without owning the rights.

The pirates offered illegal content in both "live streaming" mode and "on demand".

All sites, which were located on servers in Italy and abroad, offered schedules which were organised to facilitate the choice of the user's favourite programme. A monthly subscription of 10 Euros was charged, compared with legal commercial offer of around 100 Euros.

Five people promoted a vast network of customers throughout Italy. They have been charged under the art.171-ter violation of Law 633/41 which provides for imprisonment up to 4 years and a fine of € 15,000.

The violation of copyright damages the market for companies that abide by the rules and undermines investment, development and growth. To understand the scale it is sufficient to consider that, with today's operation, the presence of more than 340,000 members of an internet community related to television piracy was detected. Assuming that everyone has signed an illegal "subscription", you can, with a simple calculation, estimating that the turnover is nearly € 3,500,000 monthly, or more than € 40,000,000 per year.