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VodafoneZiggo and AAPA claim success in combatting piracy

Liberty Global-Vodafone JV VodafoneZiggo, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) and Dutch police have together secured the criminal conviction of the operator of a Netherlands-based card sharing piracy network,who has been sentenced to a conditional six-month prison sentence, with a probation period of three years, and 240 hours community service, at a court in The Hague.

The AAPA hailed the conviction as the latest in a series of positive results of collaborative investigations led by Dutch Police, VodafoneZiggo and itself.

The 29-year-old man from Oude Wetering in the Netherlands was convicted of criminal offences relating to card-sharingThe sentencing follows the conviction of a 40-year-old man in Groningen in July 2018, also on offences relating to card sharing and the illegal sharing of Ziggo services.

Despite a growing focus on illicit streaming, card sharing piracy continues to pose a major threat to pay TV operators and broadcasters. Card-sharing involves an individual or group stealing and retransmitting a regularly changing control word that is passed between a smart card and a set-top-box, allowing subscribers to watch TV content they have not legitimately paid for.

“Piracy is a crime which can impact the revenues of content owners and rights holders and have serious consequences for the industry. Premium content is in high demand across the globe and the AAPA will continue to work with leading operators like VodafoneZiggo to help protect their investments and bring to justice criminals who are intent on stealing and sharing this valuable content,” said Mark Mulready, vice-president, cybersecurity services at content security outfit Irdeto and vice-president, AAPA.

“This conviction is a testament to the success of the collaboration between the industry and law enforcement groups and will hopefully help the pirates to rethink their disregard for the industry.”