News regarding blocking of pirate web sites of sport events

Sunday, 23 of February of 2020

Last February 11th, an interesting ruling was handed down by Madrid Commercial Court No. 7 CENDOJ, ECLI:ES:JMM:2020:2), where it was agreed, in record time (barely two months after the lawsuit was filed), to block some "pirate" websites where sports content was being displayed without authorization.

The decision is very positive for the protection of rights holders whose rights may be infringed via "pirate" websites, but the news about the speed of it is "tricky". It is true that the decision was quickly adopted and that the content is positive, but it is also true that the defendants (Vodafone, Orange, etc.) are being raided, and therefore the Court is (in essence) limiting itself to agreeing in accordance with the request of the plaintiff (Telefónica). In any case, the dispute has been handled and resolved in a very short time.

The resolution agrees to block the websites in three different stages, which is very interesting. In the first stage, it orders the blocking by the Internet access operators of the access to the pirate websites within a maximum period of seventy-two (72) hours from the notification of the Judgment. In a second stage, the applicant should be informed of the effective execution of the blocking previously indicated. This part of the measure will be limited in time, specifically, three seasons (2019-2022). And, finally, a third stage where the Internet access operators will block access to the pirate websites identified by Telefónica Audiovisual Digital on a weekly basis and within a maximum period of three (3) hours from the notification of the new list.