Police close two illegal streaming websites

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In late February the State Police shut down two illegal streaming websites, detaining four people who ran them. The websites caused losses of more than €200,000 to copyright holders, the police told the press March 14.

One of the websites had been streaming movies since 2013, and there were more than 2,500 films on the website, including flicks in the Latvian language. An anti-piracy agency contacted the copyright holders who then turned to the police. 

It is estimated about 27,000 people visited the aforementioned website each day, with 71% of the visits coming from Latvia.

Investigators say the websites sold advertising space, and used schemes to hide the true owners of the websites.

Piracy is a serious offense that carries a prison sentence of up to six years in Latvia. 

Police searched locations in Rīga and Liepāja, seizing data carriers and bookkeeping documents. 

According to the MUSO anti-piracy analytics website, in 2016, a whopping 46.3% of Latvians used the web to access illegal content, followed by Bulgaria (27.4%) and Lithuania (24.5%).

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