Court Orders Rojadirecta to Stop Offering Pirated Football Streams

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For years popular sports streaming site Rojadirecta has been operating from Spain without trouble, but last year the tide started to change. This week the site faced a new setback when a Spanish court ordered the streaming site to stop offering links to football matches. In addition, Rojadirecta is the subject of a criminal investigation.

redcardAs one of oldest and 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 tide has turned. Last year, the site received its first setback in court when it was ordered to stop linking to certain football streams in Spain.

This week the site faced another major setback. Following a complaint from Mediapro and GolT, the Commercial Court of A Coruña ruled that Rojadirecta must cease linking to unauthorized streams of football events to which these two companies hold the rights.

“I declare that the defendants have violated related intellectual property rights belonging to the plaintiff,” the court declared.

The decision applies to both live and delayed streams of football matches and the current domain name as well as any other websites it is, or will become, involved in.

“I order the defendants to cease immediately in the provision of links or Internet links, of any kind, giving access to live or slightly deferred viewing of football matches produced or issued by any of the applicants, whether in the current season or in future seasons,” the court ruled.

The court also concluded that the streaming site financially hurts the football broadcasters. The rightsholders claim hundreds of million in losses, but the exact damages amount will be decided in a future proceeding.

Rojadirecta still has the option to appeal the verdict, and at the time of writing, there are still plenty of football matches listed on the site.

The site’s owner and operator was identified by local press as Igor Seoane. He appeared in court hiding behind a wig and fake beard.

TorrentFreak reached out to the operator for a comment on his future plans, but we have yet to receive a response. After last year’s disappointing verdict he was still confident of a positive outcome 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,” he said at the time.

“At 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,” the operator added.

A year later, however, the problems keep stacking up.

In addition to the civil case, Rojadirecta’s owner was also arrested in a separate criminal investigation last month. According to the authorities, his bank accounts totaled over 11 million euros. This case is still ongoing.


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