The Dutch are the largest consumers of illegal IPTV subscriptions in the EU

In 2018, 1.1 million Dutch people (8.9% of the population) paid an average of €6.82 per month (93 million per year) for illegal IPTV services. This is demonstrated by a study conducted by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO).

This is the relatively highest percentage of IPTV users in the European Union. However, the big four countries (UK, France, Spain and Germany) have a higher number of illegal users and illegal income. The total number of illegal users in the EU reached 13.7 million in 2018. Together they represent nearly €1 billion in illegal income.


Subscribers can access thousands of pay TV channels via illegal IPTV subscriptions, which are often installed on Kodi or Android devices. This includes sports and “video on demand” such as feature films and series. In addition, the EUIPO report provides insight into technical aspects, complex infrastructure and legal issues as well as relevant case law. He refers to the rulings of the European Court in the cases BREIN v. Wullems (The Film Operator) and BREIN v. Ziggo (The Pirate Bay).

“BREIN has already tackled more than 300 illegal sellers of IPTV subscriptions, but the organized crime behind the infrastructure requires attention from criminal authorities as well as assistance from hosting providers to quickly shut down and identify perpetrators,” the watchdog said.

Actions have consequences

Furthermore, BREIN reports that the sale of illegal IPTV subscriptions increased in 2019. However, actions taken by Europol and Eurojust against services such as Xstream Codes have had their impact. This service, which was partly hosted in the Netherlands, was a source of interest for many illegal subscription suppliers. “Such an effect is always temporary when a lot of illicit money is earned,” says Tim Quick, director of BREIN. “The EUIPO report and the actions taken by Europol make it clear that there is organized crime in which the Netherlands also plays a role. Continued attention to control is needed.

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“Since the European Court ruling on Film Player, BREIN has taken civil action against more than 300 Dutch vendors. “But tackling illegal infrastructure also requires the assistance of criminal authorities in the Netherlands,” says Quick. “In addition, Dutch hosting providers can also Contribute by quickly shutting down illegal services and identifying the perpetrators.”

In addition, the European Intellectual Property Association published a study showing that online piracy in Europe decreased by 15 percent on average in 2017-2018. In the European Union, the average Internet user used illegal sources 9.7 times.

Sophie Baker

"Award-winning music trailblazer. Gamer. Lifelong alcohol enthusiast. Thinker. Passionate analyst."

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