Illegal IPTV in the European Union

A project funded by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) and carried out by an interdisciplinary team of experts from Bournemouth University, including the Centre for Intellectual Property Policy & Management (CIPPM) and the Cyber Security Unit.

>> Report published on 27 November 2019

The infringement of broadcasting rights online has grown significantly in the last years, thanks to the ready availability of technology to deliver television broadcast signal over the internet. This is known as IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) and includes live and on-demand streaming of television content online. Peculiarly for this market area infringing business models metamorphose at a quick pace, adapting to exploit loopholes in technology or legislation.

This problem has been observed and discussed by national and international authorities, stakeholders, and academics. However, more empirical research is needed to explore the magnitude of the phenomenon and the viable solutions. Several enforcement measures have been implemented in the last decades to address online infringement of copyright and related rights, many of them tailored on out-of-date technologies, such as on-demand downloading and file sharing. The efficacy of these measures to target IPTV piracy depends largely on how they apply to the various actors involved in the new environment.

This project aims at mapping the ecosystem of business models of illegal IPTV streaming across the EU. To this end, we analyse their legal strategies, economic impact and implemented technology.

We aim at mapping the ecosystem of business models of illegal IPTV streaming across the EU. This will include pursuing the following objectives:

  • Review of existing literature and resources on IPTV piracy
  • Review of legal framework and case-law in the EU
  • Macro-economic analysis and quantitative assessment of IPTV piracy in the EU
  • Qualitative research on IPTV piracy ecosystems and analysis of selected “business models”
  • Analysis of technical, economic and legal challenges in fighting IPTV piracy

The project will therefore deliver:

  • A report on the findings of the empirical research pursuing the above objectives
  • An investigation manual to inform enforcement authorities

To this end, Bournemouth University is providing an interdisciplinary team of experienced scholars in Law, Economics, and Computer science.  We are assisted by a large Expert Group including leading rights holders, law enforcement representatives, regulatory authorities and civil society organizations.

Project team

Maurizio BorghiProject coordinator  


Marcella Favale –  Senior Researcher in IP Law

Dinusha MendisProfessor of IP and Innovation Law

Marc MimlerSenior Lecturer IP Law


Antanina GaranasviliResearch Economist

Computer science

Vasilis KatosProfessor of Computing

Dimitra Poutouri – Digital Forensics Specialist

Dimitris Mallis – Junior Analyst