Viking IPTV Defendant Avoids Immediate Prison But Faces Millions in Damages

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Sweden's Patent and Market Court sentenced a man on Friday for his part in the operations of popular pirate IPTV service, Viking IPTV. Long suspected of being the operator of the platform, the man was found guilty of violating copyright law and was handed a suspended prison sentence. In addition to payment of a fine, the man must also pay damages, with claims from movie and TV companies said to reach $1.8m.

iptv2-sLast December, Swedish anti-piracy group Rattighetsalliansen (Rights Alliance) reported that a local prosecutor had filed an indictment against a man suspected of being behind Viking IPTV.

In the Scandinavian pirate market, Viking IPTV is a well-known brand and according to Rights Alliance, business appears to have been brisk.

A police cryptocurrency expert reported that clusters of bitcoin wallets that could be connected to the suspect received around 308 bitcoins between 2018 and 2022, over US$20 million at today’s rates.

A district court previously decided that up to SEK 16,250,000 (US$1,512,000) could be seized. Police managed to secure 12.7 bitcoin with an estimated value of SEK 5 million, around US$465,300 at today’s rates, the anti-piracy group reported.

No Shortage of Evidence

Last December, Rights Alliance reported that an extensive preliminary investigation had found considerable evidence to show that the man was involved in Viking IPTV and in illegal IPTV in general.

“At the time of the raid, the man had several open windows on his computer where information about the service and its scope were on display. The police also found evidence on both computers and phones, including in chats on Telegram and Skype,” Rights Alliance added.

Viking IPTV reportedly had several thousand subscribers and as part of the investigation, an unspecified number were interviewed.

Sentencing in Sweden

In an announcement Friday, Rights Alliance said that the man, whose details haven’t been revealed, had been sentenced earlier that day at Sweden’s Patent and Market Court (Patent- och marknadsdomstolen) in Stockholm.

Described as “being involved” in the operations of Viking IPTV, among other evidence the man’s mobile phone showed that he’d logged in to Viking IPTV’s support email account and administered the service’s Facebook page.

Found guilty of violating Sweden’s Copyright Act, the Viking IPTV man received a suspended prison sentence and daily fines.

The length of the sentence, for how long it was suspended, and the value of the day fines, is currently unknown. At the time of writing, no official court documents appear to be available; the only report is from Rights Alliance, which has chosen not to publish the details.

Damages Payable to the Plaintiffs

The film company plaintiffs in the case include ‘SF’ (presumably Svensk Filmindustri) and Nordisk Film, who were joined by several unspecified companies from the TV sector. Rights Alliance reports that all plaintiffs were awarded damages by the Patent and Market Court (PMD), with the TV companies appearing to take the lion’s share.

“The film companies SF and Nordisk Film demanded almost SEK 3 million [US$279,800] in damages, which was largely also awarded. PMD considered that the rights holders’ claim was well substantiated and, according to practice, was accepted by the court,” the anti-piracy group reports.

“A number of television companies are also awarded damages according to their claims, and in total the damages claims are over SEK 16 million [US$1,492,000].”


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