Pirate sports streaming sites are a thorn in the side of Sky, the UK’s largest pay TV provider.
While it’s an impossible task to shut down these sites all at once, the company recently decided to take action against one that uses the Sky brand to advertise itself.
The site in question, Skysportslive.tv, has been online for several years offering free access to various sporting channels.
Earlier this year Sky ran out of patience. The company filed a complaint against the domain name owner at the World International Property Organization (WIPO), which has an arbitration panel to resolve domain name disputes.
In the complaint, Sky argued that the domain uses their trademark without permission, that the owner had no legitimate interest in the domain, and that the domain was registered in bad faith.
After a careful review, WIPO panelist Evan Brown sided with Sky. The domain name owner, a Pakistan resident, failed to respond but according to Brown there is no indication that the site is destined for legal purposes.
“Respondent is not using and has not used, or made demonstrable preparations to use, the disputed domain name in connection with a bona fide offering of goods or services,” the panelist writes.
Instead, it is apparent that the use of the Sky trademark is intended to confuse visitors into believing that the site is legitimate.
“In this case, it is clear that the purpose of registering the disputed domain name was primarily to rely on the value of the Mark in order to confuse Internet users,” the decision ads.
All in all a good outcome for Sky, which gained control over the domain name several weeks ago as the WHOIS entry clearly shows.
However, the company appears to have missed the most crucial part of the arbitration process. That is, updating the domain’s old nameservers after it won.
This means that today, even after several weeks have passed, the now Sky-owned domain is still pointing people to pirated streams.
Those who access the domain are forwarded to crichd.in, another pirate streaming site. Crichd.in uses pretty much the same layout as the original site and is operated by the same people.
Question is, can this sports streaming portal still be characterized as a pirate site if Sky is linking to it?