A court has ordered famous sports streaming site Rojadirecta to shut down. The ruling, which was handed down following a complaint from broadcaster Movistar+, requires Rojadirecta parent company Puerto 80 to pay damages. Broadcasters estimate the site cost them 500 million euros a year.
When it comes to sports streaming sites, Rojadirecta is one of the best known and longest standing platforms on the planet. As a result, it has gained a loyal and international following.
Unlike most pirate sites that essentially lurk in the shadows, Rojadirecta is owned by a known company. Puerto 80 has been through several legal challenges over the years and Rojadirecta was even declared legal after two major lawsuits.
Now, however, Rojadirecta’s life at the top appears to be on life support after a local court ordered the platform to shut down its operations. The ruling from the Commercial Court of A Coruña follows a complaint by Telefónica-owned Movistar+ against the site and its owner Igor Seoane.
The company accused Rojadirecta of violating its intellectual property rights when it streamed sports content to the public without permission.
According to El Pais, Seoane previously argued that certain allegedly-infringing soccer streams had been added to the site by its users. As such, Rojadirecta acted as a mere intermediary enjoying certain legal protections. The judge disagreed.
“[The] cataloging and location in the corresponding sections of an index of contents was essential for the general public to access protected content,” he said.
Adding that the content should have been reserved for subscribers only, the judge found that Rojadirecta facilitated infringement and is therefore guilty of breaching Movistar+’s intellectual property rights.
“We did not agree on how this site was using our content and justice has been done,” a Movistar+ spokesperson said.
The order to shut down, which was issued on February 1 but was published this week, covers all of Rojadirecta’s domains. The site will also be required to pay damages, pending any appeal. The broadcasters estimate the site cost them 500 million euros in damages each year.
This is the second major setback for the site in recent months. Following a complaint from Mediapro and GolT, last November the Commercial Court of A Coruña ruled that Rojadirecta must cease linking to unauthorized streams of football events.