A little less than 7 € per month to access thousands of channels, thanks to a small box bought in the trade. Many of these offers are visible on the net, but also in stores that sell these boxes. This is the IPTV, internet TV. These offers are indeed tempting, but they are illegal.
When Edward heard about IPTV via friends, he did not believe his ears. After taking some information, he bought his IPTV box in a hi-fi and telecom shop in Brussels. His roommates and he being great football fans, they did not hesitate long before cracking. ” The football bouquets are quite expensive so we inquired for the IPTV ,” he says, because the prices were extremely advantageous and the offer is rather square, we started and in two or three hours it’s closed . ”
The IPTV subscription they have chosen gives them, among other things, access to all the football bouquets: the Voo sport offer, the Be In Sport offer … If we had to cumulate the prices of the real subscriptions for these bouquets, we would arrive well above the € 80 per year requested by the IPTV company to which they subscribed. In addition to football, Edouard and his roommates have access to the channels of many countries, whether free or paid. There is also a catalog of films and series on demand. No wonder that some give in to temptation, at the risk of being illegal.
Because, indeed, these offers of IPTV are illegal because they do not pay the copyrights to the chains which they distribute. ” This is not the means of communication, IPTV, which is illegal ,” explains Paul Van Den Bulck, expert in IT law, ” There are offers for which copyright has summer country (note: Proximus, Voo, Orange, …) , and then you have boxes that offer content for which copyright has not been paid.That’s why this IPTV is illegal “. This is what allows them to offer rates as advantageous: they are content to hack the signal channels and pay strictly nothing to them.
We have discovered many shops in Brussels that sell this type of services. Of course, traders do not specify that this is an illegal practice. None of them wanted to answer our questions. However, some clues can still suggest that these offers are illegal. ” When you buy cheap branded products that are available in large quantities, you can suspect that this is a counterfeit, ” continues Paul Van Den Bulck.
Dangerous for the consumer
Because it is indeed counterfeit. In 2017, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) signed a judgment in which it considers that the sale of these illicit boxes could be considered as an infringement of copyright, and that the viewing of these contents could to be considered counterfeit. The consumer could therefore be sued. But this is not the only risk for the consumer: ” These boxes can for example collect personal data via malware or contain viruses, ” warns the lawyer.
Some are trying to stop these counterfeit practices. The RTBF, for example, filed a complaint last year with the CSA against one of these platforms based in Lithuania which proposed in its offer the three chains of the RTBF: La Une, La Deux and La Trois. But the complaint did not succeed. ” The cooperation between the regulatory bodies has its limits ,” says Simon-Pierre De Coster of RTBF’s legal department, the Lithuanian regulatory authority has collaborated with the CSA but the owner of the platform said he was content with provide information and that it does not proceed to the actual distribution of the RTBF programs “.