Belgian Pirate Assets Seized in Conviction for Illegal Pay TV Content Distribution
Ten month sentence for owner of illegal card sharing network;
Global security leaders partner with content distributors to combat media piracy in Europe
It was revealed today that global content security companies Irdeto and NAGRA have been working with satellite service provider M7 Group to investigate and disrupt the illegal distribution of pay TV content in Belgium.
As a result of this work, Ahmad Masroor was convicted in the Herselt Court in Belgium charged with operating an illegal commercial control word sharing server on 29 September 2012. Masroor was sentenced to 10 months imprisonment and ordered to forfeit €50,000 in a Paypal account that was used to collect subscriptions to the illegal service.
Said Hans Troelstra, COO, M7 Group: “M7 will continue to fight piracy with both legal and technical means. We have joint forces with CA vendors and other pay TV operators throughout Europe to further increase the effect of our counter measures.”
Investigation into the case commenced in 2009 and focused around the website www.CCcam.tv. The site offered pirate subscriptions for a wide range of pay TV content including TV VLAANDEREN, TéléSAT and CanalDigital. Irdeto made a test purchase from the suspect and subsequently provided expert evidence regarding the control word sharing server to the Belgian Economic Inspectorate. Control word sharing piracy poses a major threat to pay TV operators and broadcasters and occurs when a pirate steals and retransmits a regularly changing control word that is passed between a smart card and a set-top-box (STB), allowing subscribers to watch TV content they have not paid for. Upon receiving the evidence, the Belgian Economic Inspectorate raided the premises of the suspect, seizing PC’s, laptops, hard drives, servers and business records. Click here to see Exhibit A: CCcam.tv home page, Exhibit B: CCcam.tv pirate subscriptions and Exhibit C: CCcam.tv FAQ.
A security director of the Irdeto Anti-Piracy & Forensics Unit, said, “The result of this case is significant not only for the strong conviction, but is one of the first cases where assets in the form of profits in a Paypal account were forfeited.
“Illegal profit is the primary motivation for pay TV pirates and this judgment sends a forceful deterrent message to other would-be pirates that if you are caught, not only will you face a lengthy prison sentence but you will also lose your ill-gotten gains. The final court result is very pleasing given the months of work put in by Irdeto, NAGRA and the M7 Group to protect our customers from this significant commercial threat. We continue to work closely with our customers and our industry on both technical and legal fronts to address piracy.”
Pascal Metral, Principal Corporate Lawyer at NAGRA and Kudelski Security units said, “This decision confirms the trend observed in other territories where such pay-tv piracy leads to numerous and successful prosecutions. Fighting piracy requires a combination of technical and legal countermeasures. We were pleased to bring our expertise and collaborate with M7 and Irdeto in fighting this case and will continue to do so around the globe.”