LaLiga and UAE Launch ‘Anti-Piracy Laboratory’ to Block Pirate Sites

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Spanish football league LaLiga and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are teaming up to tackle online piracy. This week, they launched a dedicated 'anti-piracy laboratory' that aims to block pirate sites and services, while also exploring new technological enforcement tools. LaLiga's President, who was present at the signing, describes the agreement as "historic and unique".

laliga uaeThe United Arab Emirates (UAE) is rapidly expanding its population, mostly through migrant workers.

The country, where Dubai is the most populous city, presents itself as a region where people from all over the world can do business and find entertainment.

UAE Pirates

The region appears to be a magnet for the rich and famous, but it’s not all fun and games. As it turns out, some people in the UAE are enjoying entertainment without paying for it; through pirate streaming sites or IPTV devices.

Earlier this year, the IIPA, a coalition of major rightsholder groups, stressed that the UAE Government should help to deter IPTV piracy. For example, by promoting website blocking and anti-piracy interventions by domain registrars and other intermediaries.

“The government has an important role to play in promoting piracy prevention efforts and needs to encourage ISPs to restrict access to illegal Internet protocol TV (IPTV) services and intermediaries that facilitate the operation of such services,” IIPA wrote.

LaLiga and UAE launch Anti-Piracy Lab

These piracy activities haven’t gone unnoticed by major sports rightsholders either. This prompted Spanish football league, LaLiga, to team up with local authorities to collaborate on this front. LaLiga has been operating a dedicated office in the UAE for ten years, so connections were already in place.

The discussions eventually resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was announced to the public this week. At an event hosted in the Emirates, LaLiga President Javier Tebas Medrano signed the agreement with representatives from the UAE’s Ministry of Economy.

LaLiga and UAE are committed to launch an ‘anti-piracy laboratory’ with the specific aim of tackling online piracy, including sports streaming. Details of the agreement are noticeably absent, but according to LaLiga’s president, it’s a big deal.

“We have more than 10 years of experience in the fight against piracy across the world. This agreement is historic and unique. We’re not just defending LALIGA, but also many other sports and audiovisual properties. We have to defend the entire industry,” Medrano says.

Pirate Site-Blocking And More

The UAE also highlighted the agreement separately, while adding more context. According to the Ministry of Justice, the new lab will focus on website blocking and the development of technical anti-piracy tools.

“The Ministry of Economy signed a MoU with LaLiga to launch a project to establish an ‘Anti-Piracy Lab’ aimed at blocking pirate websites that infringe on intellectual property rights, copyright, and creative content in the UAE,” the Ministry writes on X.


TorrentFreak reached out to LaLiga yesterday, requesting additional information on the anti-piracy laboratory, but we have yet to hear back. If anything comes in later, we will update this article accordingly.

It’s clear, however, that LaLiga and UAE are determined to hinder online pirates and IPTV services. These measures are unlikely to hurt the wealthy in the country, who can pay for legitimate access. However, the UAE’s population is largely made up of low-wage, migrant workers, who are more likely to be affected.


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