Court Forbids Rojadirecta to Stream Football, Or Else…

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For years popular sports streaming site Rojadirecta has been operating from Spain without trouble. This week, however, a Madrid court threw up a significant hurdle by ordering Rojadirecta to stop linking to certain football streams or have its site blocked by local ISPs. The site's operators are refusing to cave in without a fight and have already announced an appeal against the preliminary injunction.

rojaAs one of the most prominent live streaming sites, Rojadirecta is a thorn in the side of many international sports organizations.

The website is operated by the Spanish company Puerto 80, which previously won two lawsuits in Spain, declaring the site as operating legally under local law.

Even the U.S. Government couldn’t bring the site down. In 2011 the Department of Homeland Security seized the site’s domain name, but facing a legal battle the authorities chose to hand it back to the rightful owners.

Now, several years later the odds seem to have turned. Following a complaint from the Professional Football League (LFP), a Madrid court has ruled that Rojadirecta can no longer link to unauthorized streams of football events to which Mediapro and Gol Television own the rights.

The court issued a preliminary injunction that orders the site’s operators to cease these activities within seven days. If the company fails to comply, local Internet providers will be instructed to block access to Rojadirecta.

Martinez Trujillo, director Strategic Projects of the Spanish Football League, praised the court’s decision while openly insulting one of the defendants.

“We have great news issued barely an hour ago,” Martinez Trujillo announced yesterday. “The Football League has been working intensively against piracy during the last 18 months and today we won the first great battle against this man, who is really a crook.”


Speaking with TF, Rojadirecta stresses that the Madrid court issued the injunction without delving into the merits of the case. The company maintains that it’s operating legally and will appeal the verdict in a full trial.

“This does not affect our right to continue operating the website,” a Rojadirecta spokesperson says, adding that they don’t expect to make any significant changes to the site.

As a result, Rojadirecta may soon be blocked by Spanish ISPs but the company is confident that it can overturn the preliminary injunction in the long run.

“Rojadirecta is advised in Europe by a number of legal teams with the best experience regarding Internet operators liabilities. We are very aware of the legality of Rojadirecta; our operations now and in the future are not reckless.”

The preliminary injunction is based on misleading statements from the Spanish Football League, according to the streaming site, who note that the verdict would have been different if they were given the opportunity to defend themselves.

There is no doubt that the injunction puts Rojadirecta at a disadvantage, but the company believes that it will win in the end, securing yet another legal precedent.

“In any case, we continue to work this issue with hope. In the end we will win, but we will have to fight quite a bit. This new challenge will end up putting us in a better position,” Rojadirecta concludes.


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