Eurojust, Europol and the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), representing the industry of protected audiovisual content, have joined forces to improve the sharing of expertise to tackle audio-visual piracy via IPTV networks.
More than 70 judicial and law enforcement authorities from EU Member States and representatives from the two EU agencies discussed, during a two-day seminar at Eurojust in The Hague, how to close the technical knowledge gap between national authorities and organised crime groups (OCGs).
The dedicated seminar focused on the information needed to identify, investigate and prosecute two forms of audiovisual piracy: card-sharing and illegal streaming. The main points of discussion were how to identify a pirate service, investigative tools and the challenges faced by the private sector in investigating piracy, as well as the scale and impact of audiovisual piracy and its links to organised crime. Further sessions included knowledge sharing on how to achieve successful prosecutions and how the judiciary could work with the private sector.
In September of this year, during a coordination centre at Eurojust, a large-scale piracy network, through which a criminal group had illegally sold pay television subscriptions to more than 800 000 customers, was brought down by the blocking of more than 200 computer servers.
In June 2019, police officers from the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior, under the supervision of the Bulgarian Supreme Prosecutor’s Office of Cassation, with the collaboration of Europol and the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), carried out a joint action against five cable operators in Bulgaria. They were illegally intercepting and distributing premium TV channels (both foreign and Bulgarian). The entire illegal hardware infrastructure used for the criminal activity was seized during the house searches.