PRESS RELEASE: Piracy cases in Czech Republic and Slovakia yield results

11 February 2013

Demonstrate effectiveness of collaboration and police support

Two new cases of the piracy practice known as card sharing have been brought to resolution in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The cases involved the theft of services from UPC DTH S.à r.l. (operating the brand freeSAT in these markets) enabling the illegal reception of services and depriving UPC of payment.  

Following criminal complaints filed by UPC DTH S.à r.l., whose parent company Liberty Global is a member of AAPA (Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance), the matter was addressed in co-operation with Irdeto (conditional access system provider to freeSAT service) and local police authorities in Czech Republic and Slovakia. 

Two full investigations were conducted with partner to UPC DTH S.à r.l., and member of AAPA. Both Irdeto and the local police provided high levels of cooperation and skill, leading to the successful prosecutions.

The defendants in both cases pleaded guilty and have accepted the settlements requiring them to pay UPC DTH several thousand Euros compensation.

In the Czech Republic case, the court conditionally closed the criminal proceedings as the defendant pleaded guilty, settled to cover the claimed damage and had no previous criminal history. The court also set up a probationary period of two years.

In the Slovak case, the police successfully closed the investigation and the state attorney closed the case due to the fact that defendant pleaded guilty, settled to cover the claimed damage and had no previous criminal history.

In welcoming the decision the AAPA's Executive Director, Sheila Cassells, said that "these are cases which show that this and that local officials fully support the need to maintain the legitimate protection of the services our members provide to paying customers in these countries. AAPA will continue to support its members in taking necessary action." 

Magnus Ternsjö, MD of UPC DTH S.à r.l added, "we have made many technological improvements to limit the ability of thieves to steal our services but we cannot be fully successful without the support of local law enforcement to apprehend and prosecute those who try to circumvent our security to illegally provide services to others.  We have further pending cases and count on additional success in gaining significant restitution and sentencing that includes putting people behind bars.  We are and will always go after people we can prove are involved with illegal activities and violate our terms and conditions. These activities not only include "card sharing" piracy, but also frauds committed by individuals and groups which harm UPC DTH and our paying customers. We appreciate very much the support of the law enforcement officials in the countries, Irdeto, as well as AAPA and praise them for helping us to successfully convict people who have been involved with piracy and other related criminal activities."

Rory O'Connor, VP of Services at Irdeto, commented, "The collaboration between S.à r.l., AAPA , the Irdeto Anti-Piracy and Forensics Unit and local authorities sends a strong message to criminals that media piracy will not go unpunished. The verdicts of these cases will act as a strong deterrent to others who undertake in such illegal activity and is an extremely pleasing outcome that follows recent successful prosecutions in Greece, Belgium and Netherlands. Irdeto will continue to work closely with our customers and local authorities to understand where piracy is occurring - and actively taking measures to counter and stop it."

Note to editors

1.     The defendants were distributing to third parties the decoding keys of pay TV programmes from freeSAT via the internet. Users were then able to view programmes without subscription, using the illegitimately adapted set top boxes or private boxes suitable for piracy activities.

2.     In the Czech Republic the matter was handled by Police Presidium of Czech Republic (Policejní prezídium ČR), the Department of economic crime and police in the city of Kromeriz (Oddělení hospodářské kriminality PČR Kroměříz).  In Slovakia the case was handled by Police Presidium of Slovakia (Policejní prezídium SR) and the County department of police in Prievidza (Obvodné oddelenie PZ Prievidza). 


AAPA contact:
Sheila Cassells:
+44 7500 243 136


Miranda Rock

+44 7957 391 498

Rocket Launch for AAPA


UPC DTH S.à r.l contact:
Jim Helfgott

+352 26 84 70 21


Irdeto contact:

Laura Strong

Ruder Finn for Irdeto

Office: +44 (0)20 7438 3070


Katie Judd

Senior Manager, Public Relations, Irdeto                            

Office: 415-967-7148

Mobile: 603-738-9599                                     




About AAPA

The Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) represents companies involved in the provision of protected audiovisual services, security technology for such services, and the manufacturing of products, which facilitate the delivery of such services. AAPA's mission is to enable the fight against piracy which involves the development, promotion, distribution, application or use of technologies resulting in the unauthorised use of protected audiovisual content, by co-ordinating intelligence and action supported by effective legislation and its implementation.


Supplementing companies own activities, AAPA brings it members together to share information about piracy activities and to co-ordinate their actions, where appropriate. Effective action requires appropriate and effective legislation, implemented consistently across the EU in the first instance, supported by global co-ordination. Through the activities of its members and the work of the Intelligence Committee AAPA is able to identify where legislation can be improved. AAPA maintains a dialogue with the EU institutions to promote effective legislation.

AAPA members are committed to investing in, developing, implementing and maintaining robust protection systems to support existing and new means of distributing protected audiovisual content. AAPA works to inform stakeholders about the importance of effective content protection in the context of technological developments, such as hybrid TV and the cloud.

Current AAPA members:
BSkyB, Conax, Eutelsat, INSIDE Secure, Irdeto, Liberty Global, Melita, Nagra, NDS, Nova, Open Tech, Pace, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, Verimatrix, Viaccess, Ziggo, Zon


About UPC DTH S.à r.l.

UPC DTH S.à r.l. is a high quality provider of satellite television services based in Luxembourg, the European capital of satellite services. It provides services to Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and manages the satellite television services of the provider in Romania. Its Direct-To-Home (DTH) service, known as UPC Direct in the Hungarian market, freeSAT in the Czech and Slovak markets and Focus Sat in Romania has more than 675,000 customers (as per 30 September 2012). UPC DTH S.à r.l. offers its customers more channels, better content, award winning customer service and superior signal quality, including crystal-clear high-definition programming.  UPC DTH S.à r.l. is part of Liberty Global, Inc.


About Liberty Global

Liberty Global is the leading international cable company, with operations in 13 countries. We connect people to the digital world and enable them to discover and experience its endless possibilities. Our market-leading television, broadband internet, and telephony services are provided through next-generation networks and innovative technology platforms that connect 20 million customers who subscribe to 34 million services as of September 30, 2012.

Liberty Global's consumer brands include UPC, Unitymedia, Kabel BW, Telenet and VTR. Our operations also include Chellomedia, our content division, UPC Business, a commercial services division and Liberty Global Ventures, our investment fund. For more information, please visit


About Irdeto

Irdeto is a world leader in media protection, multi-screen and revenue assurance solutions for pay media companies.  Through its innovative conditional access, dynamic monetization content security and anti-piracy technologies, the company allows new forms of distribution for broadcast, broadband and mobile entertainment. Regionally headquartered in Amsterdam, Beijing, and San Francisco, the company employs approximately 1,000 people in 24 locations around the world.  Irdeto is a subsidiary of multinational media group Naspers (JSE: NPN). Please visit Irdeto at