Europol Shuts Down World’s Biggest Pirate Streaming App

The world’s biggest pirate streaming site, Mobdro, has been shut down following an investigation. Four people were arrested and web domains have been blocked.

Modbro Gained Over €5 million in Illegal Profits

Europol, with the support of the English Premier League and Spain’s La Liga, as well as the country’s police authorities, has shut down one of the world’s biggest sport streaming piracy operations. Following an investigation and criminal prosecution by the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), as well as the Premier League, the world’s largest illegal streaming platform, Mobdro, has closed up shop, the league reported on Thursday.

The investigation was led by ACE, a group of about 30 major entertainment firms and film studios committed to fighting online piracy, in cooperation with the Premier League, and culminated in Spanish police and Europol taking action.

The Premier League said in a statement that Mobdro illegally streamed video content from across the world, including sports, on smart TVs, phones, tablets, and other devices. The app was downloaded by over 100 million people and was tied to websites in Portugal and Spain, as well as servers in the Czech Republic. Investigators believe Mobdro earned more than €5 million in illicit revenues by selling user details to a botnet-related company and in ad revenue.

Spanish National Police Aware Since 2018

The Premier League, the Spanish Football League (La Liga), ACE, and the Football Association Pretoria all reported to the Spanish National Police on the existence of a mobile application that was illegally streaming tv stations and other media content in October 2018.

Four court orders to take down web domains were served as part of the operation, while 20 domains and servers were barred, and four arrests, three in Spain and one in Andorra were made in connection with the investigation, according to Europol.

The Premier League’s Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb, added that copyright protection is crucial to the league and its media partners, in addition to “the future health of English football.”

The Premier League has long struggled with the problem of content piracy.  It started the second phase of its anti-piracy initiative in Malaysia and Hong Kong in December to raise awareness about the risks of fraudulent football streams, including information theft, malwares, and a weak viewing experience.

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