In Italy, the famous sports streaming site Rojadirecta lost a fight against piracy. The Court of Rome said that the Spanish company broke the rights of local TV station Mediaset and ordered the streaming site to pay 529,579 euros in damages. But the court didn’t agree with all of Mediaset’s demands.
Rojadirecta is one of the oldest and most popular sites for streaming sports events. It was started more than 16 years ago.
The Spanish company Puerto 80 Projects runs the site, which has gained a loyal following over the years. At the same time, it has been in many court cases.
The famous Spanish site fought against the U.S. government’s attempt to take over the domain. On its home turf, it has also won some court cases, but the tide has turned in recent years.
Rojadirecta was banned and made illegal.
Rojadirecta is now illegal in Spain, despite many attempts to get it legalized. Internet service providers have been told to block the site in several other countries, including the UK, Denmark, and Uruguay.
After being made illegal in Spain, Rojadirecta was also taken to court in Italy by the most significant media company there, Mediaset (RTI). The biggest broadcaster in Italy said that the streaming portal makes it easy for people to steal rights to many sports events, hurting copyright holders.
The case in question was presented to the Court of Rome, which made a decision last week. According to the court, Rojadirecta is fully responsible for piracy through its site, even though the streaming doesn’t happen on the site itself.
Damages Award: €529,579.50
The court reportedly told Rojadirecta to pay Mediaset €529,579.50 for piracy as compensation for the damage it caused. The streaming site also has to pay €24,786 in interest and legal fees that have built up.
Alessandro La Rosa, an attorney for Mediaset, tells us that the case was settled over violations of football games in the Italian Serie A and the UEFA Champions League. Based on EU case law, the Court of Rome confirmed that links to third-party portals could be enough to bring about responsibility.
When TorrentFreak talked to Igor Seoane, who started and ran Rojadirecta, he said he didn’t want to say anything about the situation. Rojadirecta has appealed similar decisions, so that it may do the same here.
All of the information above came straight from Mediaset. On the other hand, a source who knows the defense tells us that the verdict isn’t all good news for the Italian broadcaster.
For example, the Court of Rome disagreed with the copyright violation and unfair competition claims. Also, the damages are much lower than the €29 million that Mediaset probably asked for in court. This information is not included in Mediaset’s press release.
We’ll update the article to reflect the full verdict if we get a copy of the complete judgment. There is no denying that Rojadirecta’s interests are losing ground in the legal world.
Years ago, the site won two court cases in Spain, which meant that local law allowed the site to keep running. Recent court decisions haven’t been good, and there could be more trouble in the future.
In addition to the civil lawsuits, the person who ran Rojadirecta was arrested because they were suspected of doing illegal things. After a thorough investigation, the Spanish government said that Seoane would be charged with a crime and could face many years in prison and millions of dollars in damages.
As things stand, this whole thing might get interesting. I guess we all have to wait and see Rojadirecta’s fate.