In early 2017 Mr Justice Arnold ordered an innovative and pioneering injunction preventing the live pirate streaming of Premier League football matches across the UK. In the summer of 2017 that order was renewed to cover the 2017/2018 season and has now been renewed again until the end of the 2018/2019 season.
As the sums paid by Sky and BT to win the rights to show Premier League marches has increased, so too has the subscription price they charge customers. That growing cost has led to a surge in online piracy of sports events in recent years.
Many of those pirate streams operated on Kodi-type boxes, keeping their website hosting addresses secret.
The reason this injunction has been working so effectively is that it is not actually against the pirates. It is a mandatory injunction compelling most internet service providers ("ISPs") (including BT and Sky) to block unauthorised streams in real time.
Since the injunction was first granted the ISPs have blocked access to over 5,000 server IP addresses that were the originating sources of illegal streams. The injunction does not provide any mechanism to identify or punish those ISP's customers caught watching illegal streams, other than the disappointment of seeing it turned off mid-game.
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