Piracy has become one of the main concerns of authorities, the media or the organizers and managers of sports competitions. Beyond decoders that use antennas for satellite piracy and systems like CCCAM, IPTV for piracy over the Internet proliferates. We explain differences, characteristics of each one, but also the fines or risks of their use.
How do they work
How do they work and what are the differences between the two? The two main routes are via satellite and over the Internet through IPTV. They are usually the two most common options today and the ones with the most raids and closures, with thousands of users around the world.
Betting on satellite piracy involves more of an initial investment or is more complex than using its IPTV version. As we have explained before, with methods such as CCCAM it is possible to access channels as long as we have an antenna that we have oriented correctly, we have a compatible decoder and we connect to receive the keys. Orienting the antenna exclusively will not work because the channels arrive encrypted but there are methods such as CCCAM that allow us to connect to a server and, in real time, we receive the keys in the pirate deco and we can see the corresponding channels without having to pay. The encryption of the channels changes every few seconds but this system works in real time so that they are always unlocked.
Selling CCCAM is illegal because we access decoded channels, but the Internet is full of options where we find these lines, just a glance at some online stores where we see that it is offered for two or three euros. It is easy to achieve it but we have here a more expensive infrastructure than in the case of IPTV since it involves the installation of the antenna, etc.
The problem with this system is that it requires installing an antenna, orienting it, and getting hold of a pirate decoder, which is usually too expensive as an initial investment and not everyone is willing to invest in it to hack. That is why other types of devices have proliferated to access content illegally and that are representing an extra effort for authorities around the world in the fight against piracy: pirated IPTV.
Pirate IPTV receivers that allow you to view content through streaming (illegal for those who broadcast it, but legal for those who consume it). In Europe alone there are thousands of websites that give access to thousands of pay channels, where it is only necessary to download an .m3u file with a playlist, which can be used on computer, mobile phone, television, etc. In addition, Kodi is easy to use and that makes this option cheap, simple and accessible for many users.
Receivers with preloaded Kodi offer, for just 20 or 30 euros , a large number of channels available to the user, who does not have to bother even looking for them. Everything is as easy as plugging in the device and starting to watch the content. You do not need an antenna, or a decoder, or connect to a server to send you the keys, or flash any firmware: you only need a good Internet connection that generally exceeds 50 Mbps (currently all operators offer much more) and a connection that can be via cable or WiFi.
And, of course, the decoder. Android set-top boxes that allow you to install all kinds of different applications. Are these decos illegal? No, the use of the devices is totally legal but it is illegal for them to come preloaded with content that is not. That is, it is legal to buy a decoder and use it to have your own multimedia list, but there are hundreds of thousands of pirated players in Spain that come preloaded with content that is not within the law.
Set-top boxes are not the only option and are not, in fact, the most common. IPTV piracy is characterized by the fact that we can buy m3u lists and play them on any device with Internet access on which we download players such as Kodi. It is simple and we do not need anything special except to install the program and reproduce or import the list that we have previously paid for and that gives us access to all the contents.
Differences between the two
The main difference between the two options is that to access satellite signals we need to have a decoder (in addition to the antenna, of course) but in the case of using illegal IPTV we only need a compatible device such as a Smart TV with Android or a computer if you install Kodi since it works through many devices without the need for a specific device. With IPTV, the transmission of channels is done through the Internet and m3u lists tend to predominate that include IP addresses and data to connect to broadcasts with hundreds of available channels that we can access.
The main difference and the reason for the success of IPTV is that the latter requires fewer requirements and less installation, making it a popular and affordable option.
Not only the fines and legal problems are for those who sell pirated decoders or for those who offer these services, but also for you if you use or buy it. One option is to claim that you do not know that the service you hire is illegal but it is something not very credible and there will be evidence that you do not comply. Fines can be up to 300,000 euros and many countries are working to find out who uses them.
Can they fine us for watching movies or series online and not for using them? Viewing or downloading it is not the same as the person who gets money for its dissemination: in the second case, they may be committing a crime if there is profit motive or economic benefit. Generally you will not be fined for viewing illegal online content but we do know of cases where users of illegal services have been contacted and fined. Is buying a decoder illegal? No, as we have seen in previous paragraphs, but it will depend on the use you make of it or if it is previously pirated.
Fines for pirate deco users
In October 2021, Italy carried out a raid against pirated IPTV and the Guardia di Finanza paid attention not only to the package managers but also to the users who contracted the service. It is not difficult to find them: they used payments or transfers from their bank accounts and with real data for which it is easy to find them. As we counted at that time, Now, the nearly 1,800 users who had the service have already been identified through the payment data they used, and they will have, at least, to pay a fine. That fine can reach 300,000 among all the defendants but they can also face legal problems.
Also in Italy, at the end of 2020, the Guardia fi Finanza announced the closure of a pirate IPTV portal with 50,000 users . An investigation after a complaint by Sky Italia and Serie A allowed finding 50,000 clients of the platform to watch football without paying. The result? All clients would face fines of 2,500 to 25,000 euros according to the president of Series A.
Fines for selling set-top boxes
Selling pirated decoders can carry a large fine in our country. It is easy to find any pirated deco for less than 50 euros, but its sellers risk fines and even months in prison. Fines of hundreds of thousands of euros that can go to those affected, such as LaLiga in Spain, or fines that must go to entities such as Entity for the Management of Rights of Audiovisual Producers (EGEDA) in Spain. In addition, there are also prison sentences of up to six months for the sale of both preconfigured decoders and m3u lists with channels to access without having to pay for a television package.
How much can they fine? It will depend on the case, what is found by the Police, the illegally obtained income or even the pirated content, the rights or the complaints made. There are raids almost every day in Spain with dozens of detainees who face fines ranging from two thousand euros to more than one hundred thousand euros depending on their activity or the number of users or clients they have.
Risks and dangers
Beyond the fines that we can suffer for using pirated decoders, there are other risks associated with their use and that will show that it is a bad idea for you to bet on these options instead of paying for streaming platforms or legal channels. Dangers with your data, with theft, blackmail …
Many cases are known in which the return of the money has not been made even though you have made a contract with a pirate IPTV that has stopped working. It is a case that we have already seen with some like Beast IPTV when users complained of not having access to their money after the closure. What’s more, it was warned that if they requested the money the authorities would access that person’s data so you have two options: be fined or resign yourself to losing your money, the money you have paid for a service that has stopped working.
Another risk, as we say, is that the police access your data: IPTV intervened by authorities allow access to the IP address, your registration email or even the bank details that you have used to pay for the service. This will lead you to the fines mentioned in the previous case or legal problems for piracy.
Another serious risk is that of identity theft due to data that has reached third parties due to hacks in these services. Or of blackmail and ransom requests in services that we have already seen on some occasions. This is the case with SapphireSecure.net and KS-Hosting.com that were hacked and asked for a ransom in exchange for not sending the databases to the police.
In addition, there are also problems that go beyond the legal or our data: we will have worse quality in these decoders than if we use legal platforms and there may even be continuous blockages, cuts in the broadcast, etc. Or we can end up downloading malware on our computer and phone that ends up causing our devices to fail.
Raids and closures
Raids are common almost every week. There are many arrested for the sale of pirate decoders almost every month, every year. But they continue to fall and the authorities are dedicated to the maximum in this work.