Twelve years ago this October, a court in Denmark ordered a local ISP to begin blocking unlicensed Russian music site AllofMP3. It was a landmark moment that opened the floodgates.
Although most countries took a few years to follow, blocking is now commonplace across Europe and if industry lobbyists have their way, it will soon head to North America. Meanwhile, other regions are getting their efforts underway, with Uruguay the latest country to reserve a place on the list.
The news comes via Fox Sports Latin America, which expressed satisfaction this week that a court in the country had handed down an interim injunction against local ISPs which compels them to block access to streaming portal Rojadirecta.
Despite a focus on Spanish speaking regions, Rojadirecta is one of the best known and longest-standing unauthorized sports in the world. Offering links to live streams of most spectator sports, Rojadirecta has gained a loyal and international following.
This has resulted in a number of lawsuits and legal challenges in multiple regions, the latest being a criminal copyright infringement complaint by Fox Sports Latin America. As usual, the company is annoyed that its content is being made available online without the proper authorization.
“This exemplary ruling marks the beginning of judicial awareness on online piracy issues,” said Daniel Steinmetz, Chief Anti-Piracy Officer of Fox Networks Group Latin America.
“FNG Latin America works constantly to combat the illegal use of content on different fronts and with great satisfaction we have found in Uruguay an important ally in the fight against this scourge. We are on our way to ending the impunity of these illegal content relay sites.”
Fox Sports says that with this pioneering action, Uruguay is now at the forefront of the campaign to tackle piracy currently running rampant across South America.
According to a NetNames report, there are 222 million Internet users in the region, of which 110 million access pirated content. This translates to 1,377 million TV hours per year but it’s hoped that additional action in other countries will help to stem the rising tide.
“We have already presented actions in other countries in the region where we will seek to replicate what we have obtained in Uruguay,” Fox said in a statement.
Local reports indicate that Internet providers have not yet taken action to block RojaDirecta but it’s expected they will do so in the near future.