Five individuals who between them managed around 20 pirate sites have been convicted by a French court, described by Canal+ as an “important step” in the fight against piracy.
It follows a joint complaint by the Canal+ Group, beIN SPORTS and RMC Sport. The sites included beinsport-streaming.com.
The five were convicted of illegal reproduction, communication and distribution over the web by the Correctional Court in Rennes. The leader of the group was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
According to one estimate, the nine most visited sites would have attracted more than 7.5 million visitors between 2014 to 2017. The administrators drew income through advertising banners on the site.
Céline Boyer, Director of content protection for the CANAL + Group said: “Rennes’ decision confirms the position of the CANAL + Group as a player committed to the fight against piracy, a multifaceted scourge, which impacts the entire sports ecosystem, from professional sport to amateur sport, as well as the media and pay-TV industry. ”
Canal commended the work by content protection organisation ALPA and the Cybercrime Group of the Research Section of the National Gendarmerie of Rennes.