Police Seize Servers and Block Website of Pirates Who Sold 20,000 Streaming Multimedia Devices

Law enforcement from France, Germany, Monaco, the Netherlands and Switzerland cooperated on an operation to shutter a piracy outfit that made EUR1.9mn (USD2.3mn) from the sale of streaming multimedia devices connected to their servers, per an announcement from Europol. Swiss police blocked the pirates’ website whilst eleven servers were simultaneously seized in France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The multimedia device was distributed by a Swiss company, allowing purchasers unlawful access to a total of 82,000 films and TV shows, all of which were protected by copyright. Apps on the multimedia devices were designed to access the streaming content on the dedicated website. The service was advertised on social media and customers paid for their devices through ordinary payment gateways and systems.

European police continue to place a high priority on pursuing streaming copyright pirates even though much of the content being protected ultimately belongs to US businesses. Media businesses have successfully lobbied law enforcement and have also dedicated significant resources to identifying piracy and hence instigating many of the police raids that arrest pirates and confiscate their equipment. Anti-fraud bodies should ask themselves why they have had less success with engaging the police to tackle other kinds of fraud that plague comms providers, especially as various measures suggest the total cost of these frauds dwarfs losses from piracy. A degree of sophistication and international cooperation is needed to tackle these frauds, but they are not significantly more complicated than the piracy operations routinely targeted by European law enforcement.

Eric Priezkalns
Eric Priezkalns
Eric is the Editor of Commsrisk. Look here for more about the history of Commsrisk and the role played by Eric.

Eric is also the Chief Executive of the Risk & Assurance Group (RAG), a global association of professionals working in risk management and business assurance for communications providers.

Previously Eric was Director of Risk Management for Qatar Telecom and he has worked with Cable & Wireless, T‑Mobile, Sky, Worldcom and other telcos. He was lead author of Revenue Assurance: Expert Opinions for Communications Providers, published by CRC Press. He is a qualified chartered accountant, with degrees in information systems, and in mathematics and philosophy.