In 2007, Rojadirecta, which describes itself as one of the world’s major Internet sports broadcast indexes (linking to many soccer events plus NBA, MLB, NFL, NPB, IPL etc), was reported for copyright infringement by sports rights holder Audiovisual Sport.
The company, a subsidiary of Spanish communications group PRISA (which owns Canal+, SportMania, various satellite channels, radio stations and newspapers), accused Rojadirecta of facilitating copyright infringement on various sports broadcasts by providing access to them via the Internet.
Rojadirecta is a site that indexes http links to sports streams that can already be found on the Internet, and also carries links to .torrent files. It doesn’t host anything at all, it just carries links. It doesn’t operate a tracker and doesn’t even host the .torrent files it links to.
The admin of Rojadirecta told TorrentFreak that they felt the case was brought to scare them into closing the site without due process.
“In 2007 we publshed a press release where we interpreted the report as an intimidating tactic with which we thought the company believed we would give in to the interests of Audiovisual Sport without the need for justice to be handed down,” he told us.
“We decided to ignore them, continue with what we considered to be a legal service
and wait for the court’s decision. So we expected that outcome but we knew it was going to take a lot of time because Spanish courts are totally overloaded with work for many years now. So finally two years later here is the outcome: case filled,” he added.
This week, District Court No.37 in Madrid agreed to provisionally dismiss the complaint against Rojadirecta, after the claims made by Audiovisual Sport against it were undermined by expert police evidence.
“Audiovisual Sport was basically saying that we provide software that allows our users to watch content that in Spain is broadcasted with a encrypted system – probably trying to use a law that was created to stop people using satellite TV decoders without paying,” Rojadirecta’s admin told TorrentFreak.
“That law refers to software and hardware created to decode those signals without paying. The police expert’s report explained that this is not what P2P TV software does. The expert explained that those events are broadcasted openly on International TV stations and that the use of those apps are free, open and universal and not created by us,” he added.
Dismissing the case, the court went on to say that Rojadirecta merely offered links to software and links that enabled users to watch the events. Even though the site carried advertising, no profits were made directly from any infringement.
“We knew that it was a matter of time, because time, and especially logic showed we were right,” Rojadirecta’s admin told us.
A defiant and fully legal Rojadirecta says that sports broadcasts via the Internet of the Spanish soccer league will continue to be linked to via the site, along with many other sporting events from around the world including Champions League, Premier League, Serie A, NBA, MLB, NFL, NPB, IPL etc.
“Of course they [AudioVisual Sport] can appeal but if the things were clear before, with the outcome of this decision they are even more clear, if that’s possible,” he concluded.