Pirate IPTV, criminal complaint and fine for 1800 users: what they risk

The users knew they were risking the complaint and were tracked down one by one by the Guardia di Finanza: this is how the pirate IPTV discovered in the Varese area worked

It was only a matter of time and finally it happened: the police moved from words to actions, reporting 1.800 subscribers to a pirated TV network managed by a 70-year-old man from Varese. The operation, scored by the Guardia di Finanza, has put an end to a business of over half a million euros, giving instead the beginning of a long series of problems for users of the illegal IPTV, which will now have to answer in court for the crime of receiving stolen goods.

To manage the illegal network of distribution of streaming content there was a man from Varese, no longer very young (he is 70 years old) but still decidedly smart if it is true that, from 2017 to date, his illegal activity has earned him a good 500,000 euros. The man, among other things, made users sign a sort of contract putting them further in trouble, since he specified that signing up for the service could violate the laws. The users, in fact, could not not know and hence the complaint: receiving stolen goods. The 70-year-old, on the other hand, was reported for counterfeiting, intellectual property infringement and computer fraud. His main mistake was to get paid with traceable payment methods.

IPTV pirate: how the pezzotto worked

The IPTV "pezzotta" Varese offered its users, in exchange for a monthly fee, the encrypted content of Mediaset Premium, Sky, Dazn and Disney Channel. Movies, TV series and matches, therefore, could be seen without limits and at a bargain price.

The IPTV manager, among other things, had no qualms about using the logos of the broadcasters to advertise the service, which users could enjoy from PCs, smartphones, tablets or other devices thanks to a normal Internet browser. To subscribe, however, it was necessary to accept the "contract" in which users explicitly accepted the risk of civil and criminal complaint.

Accepted the contract, the user only had to make the payment (by bank transfer or prepaid card) and communicate his MAC address (Media Access Control, a number that identifies a specific device on a network) and then the Varesino opened the transmission of content to all devices registered by the user.

IPTV pirate: the consequences for users

This affair, and the way it ended, shows how those who today offer or buy pirate streaming services in Italy do so with the idea of remaining unpunished. Both the man from Varese and his customers, in fact, left an infinite number of traces that allowed the Guardia di Finanza to identify the illegal network and all the customers connected to it.

Not only the payments were easily traceable, but also the technical system used allowed to trace back quite easily the recipient of the illegal video stream. The "contract", then, is the icing on the cake: the user explicitly accepts to risk a criminal complaint.

Complaint that, in fact, has punctually arrived: the crime of receiving stolen goods foresees from 2 to 8 years of jail and fines from 516 to 10.329 euro (up to 6 years of imprisonment and up to 516 euro fine, in case of particular tenuity). It will now be up to the pirate TV customers to defend themselves in court and prove, at their own expense, that they have not committed any crime even if they signed a contract in which they declared to commit a crime.