Rojadirecta operator personally liable for sports piracy, under Supreme Court rules *TorrentFreak
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The operator of popular sports streaming site Rojadirecta is personally liable for copyright infringement, the Spanish Supreme Court has ruled. Rojadirecta is already banned in Spain and with this verdict in hand, sports rights holder Mediapro will seek hundreds of millions of euros in damages.
Founded over 16 years ago, Rojadirecta is one of the oldest and most popular linking sites for streaming sports events.
Operated by Spanish company Puerto 80 Projects, Rojadirecta has built a loyal user base while simultaneously waging numerous legal battles.
The Spanish streaming site challenged a domain seizure by the US government and ultimately prevailed. There have been legal victories on the ground too, but in recent years the tide has turned.
Rojadirecta and operator Igor Seoane suffered a series of setbacks. The site is currently blocked in several countries around the world while Seoane faces a criminal prosecution that could ultimately lead to a prison sentence.
Mediapro versus Rojadirecta
Rights holders are emboldened by these developments and the many ongoing victories. In 2016, the Commercial Court of La Coruña ruled that Rojadirecta must stop connecting to unauthorized streams of football events. The order follows a complaint from sports rights holder Grup Mediapro.
Faced with the order, Rojadirecta finally closed its doors to Spanish visitors. The site operator appealed the verdict but lost again in 2018. A follow-up petition to the Supreme Court asking for a hearing was also denied.
Mediapro wants more
Mediapro was also not entirely happy with the appeal decision. The lower court ruling held Rojadirecta’s parent company, Puerto 80, liable for copyright infringement, but not its operator. Mediapro asked the Supreme Court to correct this, which it eventually did.
In a recent order, the Supreme Court ruled that Igor Seoane, who is Puerto 80’s sole shareholder, is indeed personally liable for copyright infringements committed through Rojadirecta.
“The Supreme Court has rectified this decision and holds Igor Seoane responsible for the illegal activities carried out by the Rojadirecta site,” reports Mediapro, adding that it will seek millions of euros in damages.
“At the same time, Mediapro filed a claim for damages against Puerto 80 for an amount of 354 million euros. In light of the Supreme Court’s decision, Mediapro will also seek damages from Igor Seoane. »
Sole owner and operator
Details on the decision are scarce, but according to Spanish news outlet IUSPORT, which has access to legal documents, the Supreme Court found Puerto 80 had no other employees. Seoane is the only operator.
The site would bring in between one and two million euros per year in advertising revenue, of which the operator would be the main beneficiary. We have not been able to independently verify these findings, but they will likely be repeated in follow-up proceedings, including the criminal trial.
TorrentFreak reached out to Seoane for a comment on the Supreme Court ruling, but we received no immediate response.