ISP blocking order for football piracy has been extended.

Teddy Sagi
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The Premier League obtained an emergency order that says Irish ISPs must block illegal streams of games during the 2022/23 season. The Copyright Act of 2000 exists to make the High Court’s decision. This was the third-time extension for this groundbreaking 2019 injunction against ISPs Eircom/eir, Sky, Virgin, and Vodafone.

The Football Association Premier League has worked hard over the past few years to stop illegal match streams from being shown online.

Pirate IPTV services, web-based streaming sites, and a wide variety of apps that break the law cause problems for the most popular football league in the world. From a practical point of view, you can’t just shut them all down. Instead, the Premier League tries to make it look like they closed these streaming services in the hopes that it will have the same effect.

A UK-based anti-piracy company is working closely with Friend MTS. The Premier League uses several exciting methods to discover where pirate streams are coming from. It then sends this information to ISPs so they can block the streams.

Since this would interfere with ISP subscribers’ communications, the Premier League must first get permission from the law. In Ireland, the Commercial Court handles the process, which is part of the High Court. This week, the High Court permitted the Premier League to block illegal streams during the 2022/23 season.

Injunction Extension Awarded Under Copyright Act 2000

For the next season, Eircom/eir, Virgin Media, Sky Ireland/Sky Subscriber Services, and Vodafone are all included in the blocking injunction. It’s an extension of a court order from 2019, modified to make blocking as effective as possible.

The Premier League says that Sky’s evidence shows that the blocking measures already in place work.

The Irish Times says that the number of Sky subscribers has gone up since 2019. Sky has the right to broadcast the Premier League, so this isn’t just because of blocking; either way, there has been an increase over the last three years, which is positive.

Mr. Justice Denis McDonald agreed that an injunction extension was needed so that the Premier League rights could be protected during the coming season.

Premier League’s Three Years of Pressure in Ireland

After getting its first ISP blocking order from the High Court in London in 2017, the Premier League wanted to extend its program to Ireland the following year.

The Premier League got permission from Ireland’s Commercial Court in 2019 to force Eircom, Sky, Virgin, and Vodafone to block pirate streams until June 30, 2020.

A little less than a year later, the Premier League got that injunction extended so they could keep fighting piracy through the 2020/21 season.

In 2021, following an already established pattern, the permission to block another extension. This upgraded version used measures that are secret and unable to share with the public.

Reports don’t show that the current extension for 2022/23 gives the Premier League any new powers. Still, at least for now, the football league seems happy with how the injunction works for them.

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