Editor ©RapidTVNews | 06-09-2011

AEPOC, Europe’s audiovisual anti-piracy association, has helped ZON in bringing successful action against activities designed to defraud rights holders in Portugal.

This move is latest of the association‘s actions to protect content holders in Europe and saw Portuguese police dismantle a card sharing network which provided unauthorised access to TV content . This followed several investigations in the areas of Lisbon, Guarda and the north of the country.

According to information released by AEPOC, the network was operated by two individuals and had over 650 customers, generating profits said to be in the region of about €5,000 per month. More than 10 card sharing servers where seized together with some 100 pirate decoders.

The Portuguese police action arrived hot on the heels of a similar campaign in Belgium where the appellate court of Antwerp confirmed the decision of the Court of Tongeren to impose €1,850,000 in damages and an 18 months’ prison sentence on an individual found guilty of selling unauthorised viewing cards.

From 2006 to 2008 cards giving illegal access to Sky Deutschland in Germany and Austria were sold. The second instance court has now confirmed the compensation payment and the 18 months prison sentence – with eight months as suspended sentence. Several other accused involved in this case had accepted the 2010 judgement, including one pirate sentenced to €180,000 payment in damages and eight months in prison. This took the total sum of damages payable to Sky to the record sum of more than €2 million in combination with severe prison sentences.