The Compusurf policy regarding customers who are using Pirate IPTV systems
Definition of Pirate IPTV
For the purposes of this document, the definition of “Pirate IPTV systems” is, any TV service or app, on any device, like a smart phone , an Android TV Box or other media device, that circumvents encryption and allows the viewing of Premium channels, like Sky Sports, without making payment to the content owner.
Legal status of Pirate IPTV systems
In the EU, It is criminal offence to receive Pirated IPTV content as well as sell it. As of October 2021, some countries in the EU have already agreed on the charge and the penalties and are now starting to prosecute the end user for using Pirate IPTV systems. The charge will be “receiving stolen goods” and the fines range from 100s to 1000s of euros depending on the severity, it will be dealt with in the criminal courts hence adding a criminal record to the accused if found guilty.
The ISP’s legal responsibility
All internet providers must make it clear to its users that using the Internet for criminal activity can lead to disconnection and possible prosecution
Upon request from a court order, and only a court order, an ISP is obliged to divulge details of a customer.
The Compusurf Policy
As an internet provider, our responsibility it to provide and maintain an internet connection to our customers. If a customer reports that their IPTV system is not working correctly we can only check the internet connection is working as it should and make any adjustments or repairs if required. Our engineers and support staff will not offer any help with pirate IPTV systems as the act could make Compusurf liable as an accessory to the crime of receiving stolen goods.
We continue to offer a fully open Internet with no blocking or detection of anything other than official requests via a court order. It is the responsibility of the end user to remain within the law with regards the use of our service, Compusurf will not be held liable for any illegal activity that takes place within our network by our end users, however, such activity, if reported to us by a law enforcement agency, may, if requested by the said agency, result in the termination of our services to that person.
It is not our policy to dictate to our customers what they can and can not do with their internet connection, is with regret we are forced to apply this policy, however I am sure you agree, we must protect the company for the greater good of all our customers. At this time, new methods of detection are now in use and there are a number of ongoing investigations all over the EU, Smaller ISP’s like Compusurf are also under the radar, so it is even more important than ever for us to be 100% compliant with the law regarding this topic.
How do I know if my IPTV system is using pirated content?
In a nutshell, if your TV service allows you to watch premium channels, then yes, regardless of what you are told by the provider of this service, in the eyes of the law you are receiving stolen property and committing a criminal offence that is liable to prosecution. In Italy the courts have agreed that “not knowing you were receiving stolen goods” is not a defense, sounds a bit harsh but that it is the way it is over there, no doubt Spain will be very similar in its rulings as will most EU countries.
A premium channel is defined as a channel that would normally require a subscription to the content owner to view, for example, to receive sky sports you would normally pay Sky a monthly fee and have a decryption card in an official receiving device like a “Sky satellite box”. The fees you pay to an IPTV provider do not go to the content owner.
Systems like a Sky box with no card, a free sat box, a generic free to air satellite receiver and our own Compusurf TV satellite distribution system, that only allow you to watch free to air content that is freely available to everyone without paying any fees or requiring any de-cryption cards, are not illegal in any way, as long as the source of the broadcast is not within Spanish territory or the provider is re distributing or modifying the service for financial gain. There is a minor issue with breaking Skys’s terms of service when using a skybox out of the UK, but no offence is committed, also, unlike the UK, there is no licence requirement in the EU to receive any type of broadcast, be it foreign or domestic. The UK TV licence is a tax that only applies to the UK and its territories.
As a footnote, Spanish domestic free to air channels, ie: Spanish free to air digital TV via a rooftop antenna, is not allowed to be distributed any further than one household per antenna, I doubt anybody has ever been prosecuted for doing so but its interesting to know.
Remember, before you part with any money, your friendly pirate IPTV provider is, in the eyes of the law, a criminal and a tax evader and will eventually be caught. With this in mind we recommend, if people choose to indulge in Pirated TV, never to pay large amounts of money upfront as their service may be taken down at any time. and please consider the fact that you are committing the criminal offence of receiving stolen goods which carries hefty penalties.
The source of our information is from a meeting we had with a Spanish lawyer specializing in media.