Spanish soccer league wants Google to remove IPTV pirate apps from users' phones

Alfonso Maruccia

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Why it matters: Like many other major football (or soccer) leagues in Europe, LaLiga is being plagued by a rampant piracy issue. The organization is now proposing a harsh solution to this long-standing problem, which would require Google to directly remove apps from users' phones.

LaLiga wants to remove already downloaded apps on Android smartphones, and it wants Google to carry out this act. The outlandish proposition comes from Javier Tebas, president of the Spanish top men's professional football organization. The new football season is just a few days old, Tebas said, and LaLiga was already instrumental in "eliminating" 58 apps employed by Android users to illegally stream football matches.

Tebas recently joined Víctor Francos Díaz, Spain's Secretary of State for Sports and president of the Higher Sports Council (CSD), and member of the European Parliament Iban García del Blanco. During an event focused on the fight against sports piracy, Díaz said that piracy in Europe grew by 3.3% in 2022. LaLiga and other European major leagues are especially affected by this issue, and users are mostly enjoying their "illegal" matches through unauthorized IPTV streaming services.

According to data provided by Tebas, the aforementioned 58 piracy apps were downloaded by four million users worldwide. Spain accounted for around 1.1 million downloads, and most of these users (800,000) were using Android phones. After dealing with anti-piracy efforts for eight years, Tebas said, LaLiga is now reliably detecting over 46,000 IP addresses broadcasting pirated live sports events all over the world.

Tebas didn't provide details about how exactly LaLiga "eliminated" the 58 piracy apps targeted in the first few days of the new football season, but they were likely just removed from Google's official app store. LaLiga's head is indeed proposing stricter anti-piracy measures that would go way beyond a few tweaks on the Play Store.

The organization said it is "talking to Google" and other platforms to implement those new measures. Tebas stated that Mountain View must "eliminate" the apps that have been already downloaded on Android smartphones. If this can be done "for crimes such as child pornography," Tebas said, it can certainly be done for intellectual property "stealing."

Tebas statements are debatable, to say the least, as they are suggesting that child pornography and IP piracy are the same thing (or they should be the same thing) before the law. Furthermore, if LaLiga is asking Google to remove already installed apps, those apps can likely still count on perfectly functioning IPTV streaming infrastructures that the organization was unable to deal with thus far.

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Yeah I'm gonna say no to that, ever: These guys are forgetting the fact that CP actually has victims along with the potential of prolonged, long lasting and on-going damage by distributing said illegal material.

Meanwhile anybody that isn't completely consumed by capitalist propaganda should recognize that we should be ok with a few Spanish executives not being able to buy their second or third luxury yatch because of piracy apps already installed: You are fundamentally different and to try and compare yourself to one of the most extremes crimes possibles with the most innocent possible victims and to use those same, exemplary exceptional lengths the State can go to protect just because of basically a victimless crime that's not even on the same level of petty theft is why media executives would really not be remembered kindly when it's time to forcibly redistribute wealth.
 
The irony being that they could probably deal with this entirely on their own, by doing something like encrypting their streams better and embedding unique digital watermarks into each stream. This would keep apps from pirating the stream directly, and make is easy to identify and ban any streams that re-broadcast. Or they can get really creative, and take a page out of the games that spawn "unkillable enemies" in pirated copies: when they detect a re-broadcasted stream, just mess with the digital score board at the bottom of the screen, add in annoying graphics and sound effects, and strip out the running commentary. Make the pirated stream unwatchable.

Instead, they want Google (and it sounds like the government, too) to do their job for them.
 
Theres an ocean, countless websites that stream whatever sport you wanna watch, an app on a phone is just a "gateway drug" in a piracy way.

even if they could stop an app people who wanted to really watch for free will just discover new ways to see the stuff, on a bigger better screen probably,

sometimes just leave something alone...
 
Wow the nerve of those creeps...
Sure, if application is illegal remove it from google store. But go tf away from whatever I have stored or any non google play store app I have on my device. If a company can modify remotely files or apps they do not own... that would be a huge mass suit... at least id hope.
 
If I paid for my phone, it's my property and I alone decide what apps I will install on it or not, from the ones that are compatible.

I don't know how sick these people from LaLiga have to be to believe that they could just access already installed apps on people's phones and remove them just because they don't agree with people having access to them.

What's next? Erasing my messages and contacts because somebody doesn't agree with me having them on my very personal phone?

It takes VERY retarded people to end up comparing football match streaming to interacting with child pornography.

We shall ask for the resignation of whoever came up and supported this idea. The mentality and modus operandi they are trying to implement should either get them jailed or at least fined to hell and back.

This is going way too far. Enough is enough.
 
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