Italy is about to start blocking IPTV services that broadcast live sports illegally.
The Senate passed the new law in July and regulators will start enforcing it soon.
AGCOM will start blocking illegal IPTV streams
The new law gives the power to the country’s communications and competition regulator, AGCOM, to block illegal channels within 30 minutes of issuing an order.
In other words, there won’t have to be full legal processes for issuing such blocks.
AGCOM will not only be able to block pirated streams but also prevent network traffic to IP addresses associated with them.
In addition, it will have the ability to stop new domains from streaming the same content again. This is to prevent pirates from shutting down their websites and creating new ones.
Any information the regulator collects will go to the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Rome for further examination.
The new law has also set fines for anyone breaking the new regulations. Illegal broadcasters will face prison sentences while those watching pirated streams will receive a €5,000 fine.
While AGCOM will have the ultimate oversight, ISPs will also be able to block IP addresses they associate with illegal streams.
Serie A president Lorenzo Casini said that this is the key measure to protect copyrighted content and deal with internet pirates.
Although the Senate passed the law before the new Serie A season started, the blocking measures still have to go through a technical roundtable in September.
It may take some time to fine-tune the new system. For example, it’s important to avoid over-blocking as the regulator can easily mistake legitimate streams for illegal ones.
It’ll also have to develop a platform to use, which may not be done until October, according to La Repubblica.
Some broadcasters said that the Senate should’ve passed the law earlier. This would have allowed the regulator to develop the system before the start of the new Serie A season.
A study by Digital Citizens Alliance has discovered that illegal streams cost the sports industry $3.3 billion annually.