A 29-year-old Dutchman from Oude Wetering was convicted by a The Hague judge of piracy through card-sharing fraud giving illegal access to Ziggo’s TV offer.
The conviction is the latest in a series of positive results of collaborative investigations led by Dutch Police, VodafoneZiggo and members of the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA).
Jermain R. was sentenced to perform 240 hours of community service. He was also given a conditional six-month prison sentence with a three-year probation period. The sentencing follows the conviction of a 40-year-old man in Groningen in July 2018, also on offences relating to card sharing and the illegal sharing of Ziggo services.
R. operated a card-sharing ring from his parents’ home in Oude Wetering from 2011 tot 2017, serving around 300 ‘customers’, who paid €75 a year rather than paying the cabler €75 a month.
However, the judge did not issue the €150,000 fine sought by the public prosecutor, and also rejected the €755,000 in damages claimed by Dutch cable operator Ziggo.
The judge rejected the compensation claim by Ziggo, because the operator could have intervened earlier to stop the illegal activities. “In addition, the injured party may have had other possibilities to stop the infringement by the defendant earlier, since the injured party was already aware of the card sharing by the defendant at an early stage.”
Ziggo owner VodafoneZiggo will now seek damages in proceedings via a civil court.
“Piracy is a crime which can impact the revenues of content owners and rights holders and have serious consequences for the industry. Premium content is in high demand across the globe and the AAPA will continue to work with leading operators like VodafoneZiggo to help protect their investments and bring to justice criminals who are intent on stealing and sharing this valuable content,” said Mark Mulready, VP Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto and VP, AAPA.
“This conviction is a testament to the success of the collaboration between the industry and law enforcement groups and will hopefully help the pirates to rethink their disregard for the industry.”