Free IPTV Platforms Make Sports Piracy Easy to Watch and Simple to Stream *TorrentFreak

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The rise of high-end pirate IPTV services is well documented, but sports companies are also concerned about completely free alternatives. The so-called “Open Web Piracy” allows internet users to watch pirate IPTV streams without paying a dime. Additionally, anyone with access to a legal stream can easily make it available to the general public, even from home.

At present it is hardly breaking news that for a small monthly fee people can subscribe to pirate IPTV services providing everything from live TV and sports to movies and TV shows. television.

These paid services have grown in popularity, but millions of people still prefer to rely on websites that embed or link to pirate feeds and offer them for free.

Legitimate content companies would like to see these platforms shut down, but recent submissions to the European Commission show the websites are part of a thriving ecosystem, allowing people to see pirate streams and share them with the masses.

Open Web Hacking vs Closed Web Hacking

The main sports rights holder, the Premier League, describes subscription IPTV services as “closed network piracy” because the content is only available to those who pay for access. “Open Web Piracy”, on the other hand, is described as freely accessible content available on the web without users having to pay anything.

The image below submitted to the European Commission gives a basic overview of how the “Open Web Piracy” works.

The top/left TV screen graphic depicts an official broadcast signal (like a football match) captured, often by a “professional” pirate. According to the Premier League, this can be achieved by using an HDMI splitter connecting a legitimate set-top box to a computer or by other means. The graphics on the right represent captured content sent to a streaming platform (and its servers) from where it can be viewed by users on various devices.

Importantly, there is also an arrow pointing viewers to streaming platforms. This indicates that users can also become content providers if they know how the system works. The Premier League report suggests it’s not difficult at all.

Pirate streams can also be viewed and shared

To illustrate how Internet users can create or capture video content before distributing it to the greatest number of people, just look at YouTube. It’s the perfect example of how lone creators (or copycats) can reach millions of people with relatively little effort but, for pirates, YouTube isn’t ideal.

YouTube’s Content Identification System (and Facebook’s Rights Manager) can quickly identify pirated content, a feature used by the Premier League to remove pirated streams from platforms in near real time. But these are not the only platforms that allow users to view pirate streams and upload their own for viewing by others.

The Premier League has a shortlist of problematic platforms and other rights holders are also weighing in.

Streaming platforms used to receive and deliver content

The first platform to receive reviews is a blast from the past. Originally marketed as Torrent Stream, Ace Stream is a BitTorrent-based peer-to-peer service dedicated to streaming. In common with regular torrent magnet links, Ace Stream content can be accessed using special URLs in the format ‘acestream://********’, with the asterisks representing the unique code of a specific stream.

Search engines exist for this type of content and, like YouTube, the material can range from entirely legal streams to pirated streams. The latter can be found on dedicated indexing sites for those who just want to see but for those who have a stream to share, Ace Stream makes things pretty easy too.

ace-1 stream

As a result, the Premier League is not happy with the alleged Ukrainian Ace Stream operators. This type of sharing has been going on for years and there is no cooperation in withdrawal.

“Despite thousands of notices sent to software operators over many years and included in previous Premier League watchlist submissions, no action has ever been taken by Acestream to stop the infringements,” note- they.

Other platforms that offer similar but more centralized functionality include Wigistream.to which, like Ace Stream, also makes an appearance in the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) submission.

wigistream

“The platform operator has taken extensive steps to obscure their identities, making any attempted enforcement against the platform or the streams it offers extremely difficult,” complains the Premier League.

The football organization also calls the Chinese company “Just Fun” (zhuafan.tech) a threat. The platform looks a bit like YouTube, but seems to contain a large number of live sports streams that can be accessed on Just Fun itself and integrated with other sites on the web.

Again, users can simply view pirate streams or choose to upload their own for others to watch.

“The platform allows individuals to upload live and on-demand content to the platform, with live streams of matches indexed and accompanied by commentators/anchors provided by the platform,” the submission continues.

just fun

The separate AAPA submission lists many other additional platforms that operate along similar lines, including telerium.tv/teleriumtv.com, assia.tv/org, wstream.to, livestream.com, ezcdn462.net, uzcdn828 .net, jokerswidget.com, cloudstream.to, stephn.xyz, wmsxx.com, streammart.club, ragnarp.net, worldwidestream.net and liveonlivetv.com.

At the time of writing, availability on some sites appears to be spotty, but given their ability to leverage visitors as counterfeit viewers and stream providers, their popularity looks set to continue.

Premier League and AAPA EC submissions can be found here (1.2 pdf)

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