Paris Court of Justice hands out injunctions to protect UEFA Champions League rights holders in France – the CANAL+ Group and beIN SPORTS FRANCE
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The CANAL+ Group and beIN SPORTS FRANCE, supported by UEFA, have both successfully obtained court injunctions from the Paris Court of Justice that requires a series of internet providers in the country to block access to fraudulent websites, which have been making available unlawful and unauthorised streams of UEFA Champions League matches.
The orders obtained are one of the first of their kind and are based on a new French law designed to regulate and protect sports competitions from illegal online exploitation and gives France’s media regulator, ARCOM, the power to extend the blocking measures to any websites not yet identified in the order that illegally transmit live content of UEFA Champions League matches, during the current season.
Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director
“UEFA fully supports the court injunctions issued by the Paris Court of Justice to protect media rights owned by the Canal+ Group and beIN SPORTS FRANCE. The decisions are evidence of the new and flexible approach that has been adopted in France to accelerate the blocking of illegal websites as well as tackling the issue of internet piracy in this country. The protection of our intellectual property and our rights holders is a top priority for our organisation.”
Celine Boyer, head of content protection at Canal+ Group
“The CANAL+ Group welcomes the court injunction which is a valuable addition to the numerous efforts made by the Group to protect sports right -holders. It is a major step forward in the fight against audiovisual piracy in France and ARCOM is doing a great job.”
Caroline Guenneteau, deputy general counsel of beIN MEDIA GROUP
"A few weeks after obtaining the very first court decision under the new dedicated French legislation, beIN SPORTS is continuing its fight against piracy alongside rights holders, official broadcasters and ARCOM. This succession of actions and blocking measures taken by ISPs will quickly significantly reduce access to fraudulent sites, less than two months after the law came into force."
Fighting internet piracy
UEFA takes internet piracy extremely seriously and is implementing an extensive programme based on the latest technology available, while European football’s governing body has also teamed up with its broadcast partners, internet players and other relevant stakeholders to combat the problem more effectively.
UEFA has recently appointed two leading anti-piracy service providers to help protect the rights of UEFA and its broadcasters. They provide detection, monitoring and enforcement services related to live and non-live pirated content made available on commonly used social media platforms and all internet-based platforms and services, such as websites, IPTV services, P2P and unauthorised apps.
Financial revenue generated from media rights is vital for the well-being of football, both professional and amateur, and in particular football development and grassroots investment throughout Europe. For the 2021/22 season, around €105 million has been allocated to those clubs who were knocked out in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds and €140 million will be set aside for those teams across Europe, who are not taking part in European competitions this season.