UPC and Nagra settle Irish piracy case

UPC Ireland and Nagravision have reached a settlement in their court proceedings against Thomas Roddy, described as a “large-scale distributor of illegal digital boxes in Ireland”.

The investigation into Roddy, known as Operation Gaelic, dates back to November 2006. Galway-based Roddy was responsible for the distribution of decoder boxes and software codes that gave free access to digital pay-TV channels. He has agreed to pay a “substantial six-figure sum”, though this is short of the €9.2m local newspaper reports said was being sought. A number of injunctions have also been put in place, banning Roddy from the further distribution of such equipment, and ordering him to give further details of his network.

Robert Dunn, CEO of UPC Ireland said the apparently victimless crime had implications for the economy as a whole. “UPC is aware that these fraudsters have a wide ranging underground distribution network which supports this illegal activity. Some consumers using these boxes on our network may be unaware that this is a civil wrong and criminal offence under Irish law.”

André Kudelski, chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group said his company would continue to provide support to customers taking legal action against pay TV pirates. “This case should act as a serious warning to others to steer clear of this type of activity. We take this matter extremely seriously in every part of the world and will continue to work closely to protect our customers’ revenues and our respective legitimate commercial interests.”

UPC is now considering whether to take action against some of the other members of Roddy’s supply chain.