Rojadirecta has lost the appeal against a previous opinion issued by a lower court in Denmark and It will be blocked by the provider Telenor and by the rest of the country’s operators..
Last year, the Danish anti-piracy group Rights Alliance, together with the Spanish soccer league ‘La Liga’, obtained a blocking mandate against Rojadirecta. The court ordered ISP Telenor to block access to the portal of Spanish origin specialized in sports broadcasts.
However, Rojadirecta did not give up and appealed the decision. Among other things, the company noted that the site contains links to legally available broadcasts, and also showed that users should check a box to indicate that the submitted broadcasts do not infringe any copyright.
Despite this defense, the Court of Appeal upheld the lower court’s ruling. According to the decision, Rojadirecta violates the rights of the Spanish soccer league. In the opinion, the Court cites the jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union, including the Filmspeler case, which determined that the links to pirated content are considered a “public communication”.
As such, a court order is required that obliges Telenor to keep access to the portal blocked. The rest of the operators in Denmark will also block the website since they signed a voluntary agreement between them to comply with this type of court order even if it did not affect them directly.
Given the ruling, blocking orders are expected against other similar websites and the citation to European jurisprudence, could open a similar path for claims in other countries beyond Denmark. And perhaps other sites such as Torrent portals to use, some reported, blocked or missing.
Rojadirecta, a success story… and bench seats
It has rained since a Madrid investigating court in 2009 considered Rojadirecta “legal”, considering that providing links to live sports events on the Internet was not a crime, sentencing a case motivated by a lawsuit by Audiovisual Sport (Grupo Prisa) against the portal for copyright infringement. Since then and as their popularity increased (in Spain and half the world) the demands for “piracy” came, which have continued throughout the decade.
One of the web portals specialized in the most popular sporting events on the Spanish Internet, has been in the eye of the judicial hurricane, in Spain, the United Kingdom, Italy and also in the United States where the blockade of the Department of Justice and the US customs service was sounded in what was considered by some Spanish lawyers as a “Attack on the sovereignty and independence of the Spanish judiciary by the US authorities.”
The Rojadirecta road has been strewn with all kinds of judgments for and against, but it has not stopped entering and leaving the courts, nor has it issued one way or another. The Mercantile Court number 11 of Madrid decided to establish precautionary measures against Roja Directa in 2015, forcing it to stop linking to soccer matches broadcast by the operators.
It was a big change from previous sentences and it has been the plot line in previous years. Already in 2017 the Commercial Court number 1 of La Coruña sentenced the portal to its “final” closure after another demand by Canal + and Movistar + and the arrest of its administrator. The blockade in Denmark may be the definitive lace for the portal in the countries where it still works or is accessed in some way.