Sports broadcasts via Internet:
Audiovisual Sport vs. Rojadirecta, case filed, there is no offense
We confirm the news broadcast in the last few hours via the media. These media sources include some of the main ones in Europe such as El Mundo of Spain or Corriere della Sera of Italy, and ones on the other side of the pond such as Argentinean newspaper La Nación.
In 2007 Rojadirecta, one of the world’s major Internet sports broadcast indexes, which is edited in English and Spanish, was reported through a criminal process. It was accused of a copyright offense for facilitating programming sports broadcasts via Internet of Spanish League professional soccer games (La Liga), the 2nd Spanish division (Liga Adelante) and Copa del Rey (Spanish King’s Cup). This report was filed by the company who claimed to be the exclusive owner of said rights: Audiovisual Sport.
The reporting company is a subsidiary of Spanish communications group PRISA. According to Wikipedia, the group is present in 22 countries, and is the owner of the following television channels in Spain, inter alia: Canal+, Cuatro, Sportmanía and Taquilla, as well as the channel with the leading audience in Portugal (TVI), the satellite television platform, Digital+, El País and As newspapers, the most listened to general and music radio stations in Spain as well as radio stations in Portugal, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and the United States.
Two years later, District Court No. 37 of Madrid agreed to provisionally dismiss and file this cause as the perpetration of the criminal infraction did not appear duly justified.
Sole legal reasoning: “Of the proceedings practiced, namely declarations of the accused, and expert report on the record, it has been gathered that the Internet pages administrated by the accused do not facilitate the unprotection of the key codes for viewing sports events, nor do they make connections with unprotection programs; rather what they facilitated were links to download programs that made it possible to view said events that, although with access from an encrypted system in Spain, are broadcast openly on International TV stations; it was neither gathered that the accused’s fraudulent behavior nor that the programs that were provided were not of free use, as their use is open and universal, the accused thereby not receiving direct benefits from facilitating said links, but rather indirect compensation from the website’s advertising.”
It is important to mention the judicial police’s expert report that is favorable to Rojadirecta as well as the Attorney General's Office’s petition to file the case.
Rojadirecta interpreted the report at the proper time as an intimidating tactic with which we think the company believed we would give in to the interests of Audiovisual Sport without the need for justice to be handed down. We decided to ignore them, continue with what we considered to be a legal service and wait for the court’s decision which arrived two years later. We knew that it was a matter of time, because time, and especially logic showed we were right. Therefore, all information on sports broadcasts via Internet of the Spanish soccer league will continue to be here, at Rojadirecta together with the other sports events from around the world (Champions League, Premier League, Serie A, NBA, MLB, NFL, NPB, IPL...).
Blogs, forums, media who talk about the topic
Address of this press release:
2007's press release (in Spanish):