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LaLiga hails Danish piracy ruling against Rojadirecta

Denmark's Daniel Wass in action for Valencia during a LaLiga match versus Osasuna (by Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

LaLiga, the organising body of the top two divisions of Spanish club football, has claimed another win in its long-running battle against piracy of its content, joining forces with the Danish Rights Alliance to secure a ruling in the Nordic country against the Rojadirecta platform.

Denmark’s high court has ruled that Rojadirecta is illegal and must be blocked by Danish ISPs. The Spanish company that administers Rojadirecta, Puerto 80 Projects, appealed an initial district court ruling claiming that its platform is not illegal as it also legally provides certain content.

However, the high court sided with the Danish Rights Alliance and LaLiga in their argument that a service dedicated to illegal activities is illegal, regardless of the presence of legal content.

When the case was brought to court in 2018, Rojadirecta had gained 19,000 Danish visitors in just one month, allowing these consumers to access live sport such as LaLiga matches.

Director of the Danish Rights Alliance, Maria Fredenslund, said the ruling represents a first in the country and will benefit domestic sports bodies in their efforts against piracy.

She said: “Practically, this means that there is now access to block services that offer illegal TV and live sports. This is a hugely important development, especially for broadcasters who at great expense pays for exclusive rights to sports content.”

A survey by the European Union Intellectual Property Office outlines that Denmark is one of the highest ranking countries in the EU when it comes to illicit access of broadcast content. The survey estimates that 250,000 Danes used illegal services in 2018 alone.

Fredenslund added: “The Danes’ interest in illegal TV and pirated content simply emphasises the importance of a ruling like the one from the high court. In the future it will now be much easier to cut off access to these illegal services.”

Rojadirecta is one of the most prominent providers of access to sports streams. In Spain, the Mediapro agency in November 2016 hailed a ruling by the commercial court of A Coruña that it believed would lead to the “disappearance” of Rojadirecta as a platform for illegal access to football coverage.

In February, Dorna Sports, commercial rights-holder of MotoGP and the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK), engaged LaLiga to aid its efforts to combat piracy of the motorcycling championships’ media rights.