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  1. #1141
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    Facebook and YouTube are full of pirated video streams of live NFL games

    Pirated video streams of televised National Football League games are widespread on and on ‘s YouTube service, CNBC has found.

    Using technology from these internet giants, thousands of football fans were able to watch long segments of many contests free of charge during the league‘s Week 13 schedule of games last Thursday and Sunday.

    Dozens of these video streams, pirated from CBS and NBC broadcasts, featured ads from well-known national brands interspersed with game action.

    This online activity comes as the league struggles with declining ratings that have been blamed variously on player protests during the national anthem and revelations about former players suffering from a brain disease caused by concussions.

    Yet this illegal distribution of NFL content may also be crimping the league‘s viewer numbers.

    The NFL strictly controls television and online video rights to its games. In particular, games played by teams that are not in a local TV market are often not televised except on DirecTV, and only for subscribers who pay extra for a package called “Sunday Ticket.” That package starts at $55 per month.

    If pirated versions of these games are available online users might ignore the DirecTV package, or skip locally televised games that they might otherwise watch. It also means that advertisers are reaching audience members that they did not pay for.

    Facebook is prepared to spend more than $1 billion for the rights to future sports content, but as of now Amazon is the only large technology company with a streaming deal for football. for the rights to stream 10 Thursday Night Football games this year.

  2. #1142
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    Charter Com. says labels’ vicarious infringement claim will “open the floodgates”

    US internet service provider Charter Communications has told a court that if it is held liable for vicarious infringement simply because it advertised its high net speeds, the floodgates will be opened for a flurry of copyright claims against all internet providers.

    Charter is one of the ISPs fighting a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by the Recording Industry Association Of America.

    These legal battles follow the landmark ruling in the BMG v Cox Communications case, in which a court decided that Cox could not rely on safe harbour protection under US copyright law because it had a deliberately shoddy system for dealing with repeat infringers. That meant Cox could be held liable for its users unlicensed distribution of BMG’s songs.

    The RIAA is now suing Cox, Charter and Grande Communications, and although all three ISPs have fought back, things have mainly been going in the labels’ favour as all three cases have worked their way through the motions.

    One element of those cases is whether the ISPs should be held liable for vicarious as well as contributory infringement. If so, the labels could secure higher damages.

    Grande successfully had the vicarious infringement claim dismissed from its case and Charter is trying to do likewise. But last month a magistrate judge who had considered the dispute recommended allowing both infringement claims to continue, for now at least.

    One of the things you need to demonstrate to prove vicarious infringement is that the ISP received a direct benefit from the infringing activity.

    The labels have argued that the net firms do benefit from the piracy they enable because users who regularly access music from piracy platforms and file-sharing networks are more likely to be attracted to the premium high bandwidth products companies like Charter sell. They then noted how Charter had promoted its “blazing-fast speeds” that allow users to “download just about anything instantly”.

    However, in a legal filing last week, Charter sought to convince the federal judge that his colleague’s conclusion on this matter was simply wrong.

    It noted: “By relaxing the direct financial benefit prong to something far more attenuated than what is required, the [magistrate judge] threatens to open the floodgates for massive liability against ISPs for merely advertising and making available high speed internet to the general public”.

    It then added: “Plaintiffs’ complaint is bereft of any specific allegations that users were drawn to Charter’s services to infringe plaintiffs’ copyrights, as opposed to efficiently access the internet, including to access music generally, which of course, users can do lawfully. This renders any financial benefit from any alleged infringement incidental, not direct, and thus insufficient as a matter of law to satisfy the financial benefit prong of vicarious liability”.

    It remains to be seen how the federal judge in the case rules next and, indeed, whether any floodgates are indeed opened as a result.

  3. #1143
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    Copyright Professors Back ISP Charter to Avoid Dangerous Piracy Liability Precedent

    A group of 23 law professors are warning that a recent recommendation from a Colorado magistrate judge opens the door to unprecedented piracy liability risks. In addition to threatening Charter and other Internet providers, customers could be faced with privacy-invasive monitoring and permanent disconnections.

    In March several major music companies
    sued Charter Communications, one of the largest Internet providers in the US with 22 million subscribers.

    Helped by the RIAA, Capitol Records, Warner Bros, Sony Music, and others accused Charter of deliberately turning a blind eye to its pirating subscribers.

    Among other things, they argued that the ISP failed to terminate or otherwise take meaningful action against the accounts of repeat infringers, even though it was well aware of them. As such, it is liable for both contributory infringement and vicarious liability, the music companies claim.

    The ISP disagreed and filed a motion at a Colorado federal court, asking it to
    dismiss the vicarious liability claims. Charter argues that it doesn’t directly profit from copyright-infringing subscribers, nor does it have the ability to control them.

    Previously, other Internet providers have been successful in getting vicarious infringement claims dropped, but Charter’s case appears to go in the other direction. Last month Magistrate Judge Michael Hegarty recommended the court
    to deny the motion to dismiss.

    According to the Judge, Charter’s “failure to stop or take other action in response to notices of infringement is a draw to current and prospective subscribers to purchase and use Defendant’s internet service to ‘pirate’ Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works.”

    Charter objected to this recommendation and hopes that the court will not accept it. The company fears that this will subject the company, and pretty much all other ISPs, to a wide range of piracy liability claims.

    They are not alone in this assessment. Yesterday, a group of 23 copyright law professors submitted an amicus curiae brief in support of the company. According to the legal scholars from prominent institutions including Harvard and Stanford, the recommendation would set a dangerous precedent.

    The copyright professors point out that, based on the complaint, it can’t be concluded that Charter enjoyed direct financial benefits from the alleged infringements, as vicarious liability prescribes.

    Vicarious liability requires ISPs’ actions to serve as a “draw” to potential infringers. However, the professors argue that this isn’t the case here. Instead, the potential to use Charter to pirate should be seen as an “added benefit.”

    The draw, in this case, is access to the entire Internet, with the potential to pirate being an added benefit.

    “Access to this universe of content and services is the draw for subscribers, and the use by some subscribers of some portion of that service to download infringing material can only plausibly be seen as an added benefit of the service.

    “This is especially true with ISPs, like Charter, because subscribers pay the same flat monthly rate for a particular level of service irrespective of whether, or how often, they infringe,” the professors add.

    The Judge’s recommendation fails to properly make this distinction according to the professors. Neither does it show the necessary causal link between infringements and the financial benefit. As a result, it would expose Charter and other ISPs to “unprecedented risks of liability.”

    The fact that Charter advertises “blazing-fast” speeds that allow users to download “just about anything” efficiently is not relevant either. According to the professors, these features are valued by all Internet users whether they engage in infringement or not.

    “The Recommendation’s misapplication of the direct financial benefit analysis would cause considerable harm to other ISPs, consumers, and the public,” they write.


    The immediate threat to ISPs is more lawsuits where dozens of millions of dollars in damages are at stake. If the recommendation stands, providers would have a hard time defending them. In addition, many would have to change their piracy policies, which could hurt consumer privacy.

    In order to avoid vicarious liability claims, Charter and others would have to be more active against potential repeat infringers. This could lead to more Internet terminations and possible monitoring of legitimate users, the professors warn.

    “Consumers, whether they personally engage in infringing conduct or not, could be subject to wholesale termination of their Internet access based on unproven allegations of infringement occurring at the IP address through which they connect to the Internet.

    “Moreover, ISPs could be forced to engage in privacy-invasive monitoring of their subscribers’ Internet activity,” they add.

    The brief explains that ISPs that don’t host any content should pass all Internet traffic along in a neutral manner. These companies should not be forced to become copyright enforcers based on mere allegations.

    Based on the above, the copyright law professors urge the court not to adopt the Magistrate Judge’s recommendations. First, however, the court must decide whether it will accept the brief and add it to the record.

    Given what’s at stake, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see submissions from more third-parties on this matter in the coming days.

  4. #1144
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    Digital piracy presents opportunities for music industry – MUSO CEO

    Andy Chatterley says digital piracy presents missed opportunities for record labels, marketers and industry analysts.

    In an article published on Music Business Worldwide, the CEO of MUSO, an organisation that monitors copyright piracy globally, suggests that the music industry is not taking advantage of pirate websites.

    Chatterley believes the industry should be using information found on pirate platforms about demand, data and trends. “We can actually use this data to create real measurable value,” he says.

    This follows statistics gathered by MUSO that suggest music piracy is still a worldwide problem, despite a recent report that shows a decline in digital music piracy among young people in Europe.

    There is also a misconception that fans have stopped pirating music, or that streaming services have led to less piracy, but Chatterley says this is not the case.

    Previously, torrents were the backbone of piracy. MUSO’s data reveals that today only 6.7% of all music streaming is done through torrents. On the other hand, unlicensed streaming makes up 33.6% and stream-ripping sites 31.3%.

    And although torrents accounted for 6.7% of the piracy market, a closer look at music titles on torrent sites reveals alarming information.

    “In just the single month of July 2019, Ed Sheeran’s album Divide had over 612 000 downloads on torrent sites,” Chatterley says. “Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo had 280 000 and Lady Gaga’s debut The Fame Monster had over 202 000.”

    "Three albums, picked at random, being illegally downloaded over a million times a month. Based on a typical iTunes or Amazon download retail price, this represents approximately $10m of lost revenue for the music business and its retailers."

    Chatterley added: “You don’t visit piracy sites to casually browse; you visit because you’re a fan and want a specific release or title. There is insight into geographic content trends and city-level demand; data that is of vital importance for marketing, touring and wider release strategies.”

    “With approximately 3.5 billion people connected to the Internet globally, and only around 10% of them paying for subscriptions to music streaming services, there is an enormous opportunity in converting more people to paid subscribers. Piracy is an obvious place to find them."

  5. #1145
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    How Does The Disney Empire Strike Back Against Space Piracy?

    With Disney’s new streaming service finally launching in the U.S., Canada and the Netherlands today, Nov. 12, there are still millions (or even billions) of viewers who won’t be able to access its content, in some cases for at least four months.

    Disney+ has been promoting its exclusive original content for months, whetting fans’ appetites with glimpses of a new live action “Lady and the Tramp,” “The World according to Jeff Goldblum,” and new Star Wars TV series “The Mandalorian.” But with the announcement that the new SVoD won’t launch in western Europe until the end of March 2020, how does Disney protect content that many fans would give Darth Vader’s missing right hand to watch now?

    “High-value shows like 'The Mandalorian' will drive incredible consumer demand, and just like 'Game of Thrones,' will be a target for pirates,” Tim Pearson, senior director, product marketing, at NAGRA tells TV Technology's sister publication TVBEurope.

    “In today’s increasingly fragmented digital world, there is a segment of the market that will just pick up their smartphones and search for what they want to watch and find illicit options. For providers like Disney+, competing with such free alternatives is just not sustainable.”

    “With the right technologies in place, service providers like Disney+ can identify which legitimate clients the stream is leaking from, and then stop the distribution through that point,” Pearson continues.

    “In the case of 'The Mandalorian,' preventing leaks and, if needed, identifying the source of any leak is critical. Anti-piracy actions can also be taken to bring down pirate resellers and illicit streaming services. Finally, in markets where it is legally possible, blocking access to pirate services is another effective approach to stopping piracy.”

    At heart, it appears content is the main reason behind Disney’s decision to hold back its launch in the U.K. and western Europe, as Futuresource’s principal analyst David Sidebottom explains: “If it were to launch simultaneously globally, it would have differing content line-ups in different countries, due to the existing licensing deals that are still running in most countries with third-party pay-TV and/or SVoD providers.

    “The most high-profile content is movies in the first pay-window, particularly given Disney’s stellar Box Office line-up in 2019, therefore it is set to hold out launching in a country until it can offer these first run movies,” he adds.

    In the U.K., Sky currently has exclusive rights for Disney’s first run movies, with the deal thought to run well into 2020. “Therefore, for first run movies, it should have little bearing on piracy,” says Sidebottom. “But on the Disney+ exclusive 'The Mandalorian,' it won’t be available until 2020. Given the likely pent-up demand to watch the show, it will be interesting to see how fans react or choose to access the shows if they can’t wait.”

  6. #1146
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    Online gambling ads on video file-sharing sites under scrutiny

    Online gambling operators are finding it harder to promote their wares via video file-sharing sites as law enforcement authorities and rights-holders get wise.

    Last week, the Bangkok Post reported that Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) arrested the administrator of, an illegal video streaming site that hosted over 3,000 pirated films and had a daily view count of around 10m. Alexa ranked the site 15th in terms of Thailand’s top-visited online destinations, only one spot behind

    The site reportedly earned its operator around THB5m (US$165k) per month in advertising revenue, most of which appears to have come from roughly two-dozen internationally licensed online gambling operators.

    The DSI was reportedly moved to act following complaints by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPA), which appears to be taking a greater interest in the gaming industry. In 2018, the MPA found that 16% of all ads on pirate video sites popular with Thai viewers were for gambling products, while over 62% promoted the sex industry.

    In September, the MPA sent a report to the US Trade Representative that singled out “online gambling giant” 1xBet for using unauthorized file-sharing sites as “a vehicle” for promoting its gambling products.

    1xBet has earned a reputation as a prolific user of pirated videos as promotional tools, embedding its logos right onto the screen of bootleg copies of popular movies and TV shows. In June, 1xBet was named Russia’s third-largest online video advertiser, behind only Google and Pepsi.

    The situation grew so dire that copyright holders and internet companies agreed to the terms of anti-piracy ‘memorandum,’ which required online search engines to purge piracy-related links from appearing in search results, while Russia’s telecom watchdog Roskomnadzor would block the domains of offending sites.

    This memorandum expired on October 31, but Russian media reported that legislators plan to introduce a measure that will permanently enact these rules. In addition, Russia will allow the blocking of sites advertising forbidden online gambling products – anything other than sports betting with locally licensed sites – without the need to first obtain a court order.

  7. #1147
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    Omniverse is Ordered to Pay ACE $50 Million in Damages

    Omniverse is Ordered to Pay ACE $50 Million in Damages & is Banned From Running Any Future Live TV Streaming Service

    Today The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) announced that it has obtained a consent judgment and permanent injunction against the live TV streaming company Omniverse One World Television Inc. in federal district court.

    Back in February 2019, the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) filed a lawsuit saying Omniverse, the company that powers many live TV streaming services including the HDHomeRun Premium TV, SkyStream TV, TikiLive, and more allowing them to access channels like ESPN and Disney do not have the rights to this content. ACE’s members include some of the biggest names in TV and many others with the goal of protecting their works.

    “This judgment and injunction are a major win for creators, audiences, and the legitimate streaming market, which has been undermined by Omniverse and its ‘back office’ piracy infrastructure for years,” said Karen Thorland, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at the Motion Picture Association. “It also builds on recent ACE legal victories over illicit piracy operations, strengthening the legitimate market for film, video, and live TV that gives audiences more choices than ever while supporting millions of American jobs.”

    Earlier Omniverse had claimed that they had a 100-year deal through a contract between HovSat and DIRECTV. Now it seems that no one can find that contract. “It is not known if such records will be found in discovery or not,” Omniverse said. “Mr. Hovnanian [the owner of HovSat] is apparently in Armenia and his attorneys have not come forward to support the legal position of HovSat.”

    This all comes as Omniverse who used to sell through services Flixon, TikiLive, Vista TV, Clikia, VivaLiveTV, HDHomeRun Premium TV, SkyStream, and more shut down its residential service. Instead, they said they would focus on multifamily units, but now that seems to also be going away. This court order would appear to put an end to any of these plans.

    ACE Members include Amazon, AMC Networks, BBC Worldwide, Bell Canada and Bell Media, Canal+ Group, CBS Corporation, Channel 5, Charter Communications, Comcast, Constantin Film, Discovery, Foxtel, Fox Corporation, Grupo Globo, HBO, Hulu, Lionsgate, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Millennium Media, NBC Universal, Netflix, Paramount Pictures, SF Studios, Sky, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Star India, Studio Babelsberg, STX Entertainment, Telefe, Telemundo, Televisa, Univision Communications Inc., Viacom Inc., Village Roadshow, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

    This ruling still could be appealed, but as of today, this puts to an end one of the most interesting court cases every involving cord cutting.

  8. #1148
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    Disney Plus password sharing is apparently OK – until people start abusing it

    Disney is not taking the hardline stance with Disney Plus password sharing many had been led to expect – at least not yet.

    On launch day for the long-awaited platform, Disney is enabling four concurrent streams at the same time and a whopping seven user profiles, and it appears there’ll be plenty of scope for spreading the love among friends and family.

    In an interview with CNBC ahead of the launch, the president of Disney Streaming Services Michael Paull said he hopes customers don’t take the proverbial Michael when sharing their passwords, in part because the service is so cheap.

    “Password sharing is definitely something we think about. We believe that consumers will see that value, and they’re going to act accordingly,” he said during a media preview for Disney Plus (via The Verge). “They’re going to use those accounts for their family, for their household. That being said, we do recognise password sharing exists and will continue to exist.”

    So, roughly translated, that means so long as people don’t go overboard then they are probably good to share the password with one or two close people.

    Paull continues: “We have created some technology that’s in the backend that we will use to understand behaviour. And when we see behaviour that doesn’t make sense, we have mechanisms that we’ve put in place that will deal with it.”

    Earlier this year, it emerged Disney had partnered with US cable company Charter to “work together on piracy mitigation. The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorised access and password sharing.”

    Piracy is going to be a major concern for Disney at the offset, given the limited availability of the service at launch. Brits desperate to tune into new shows like The Mandalorian might not be willing to wait until March 31 in order to tune in.

  9. #1149
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    People sure are excited about (pirating) Disney+'s new show

    Disney+'s The Mandalorian is hot. Like, stolen car hot.

    The much anticipated Star Wars television show premiered on Nov. 12, and within hours it was already being illegally downloaded by thousands of people. Which, frankly, isn't that surprising — especially considering Disney bungled the launch of its streaming platform.

    A quick jaunt over to The Pirate Bay allows for a peek into the world of pirated content. As of the time of this writing, there are six different versions of the show's first episode available for download. And while we did not download the episodes to verify they're real (or that they're virus free), the thousands of people seeding the episode seem to suggest there's at least something there.

    Of course, that people would pirate The Mandalorian shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone — especially Disney. Back when Game of Thrones was still considered good, the Season 8 premiere episode was reportedly watched illegally more than 54 million times in the first 24 hours after airing.

    You can already pirate The #Mandalorian in a wide variety of file formats, including 4K HDR #DisneyPlus

    — Nicholas De Leon (@nicholasadeleon) November 12, 2019

    The fully operational entertainment Death Star known as Disney+ is now online in America. No doubt rebel scum around the world are pirating THE MANDALORIAN faster than you can say Sarlacc Pit.

    — Exhibitor Relations Co. (@ERCboxoffice) November 12, 2019

  10. #1150
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    German provider of encrypted e-mail Tutanota must provide access to content e-mails

    A court ruling compels the German encrypted mail service Tutanota to give researchers real-time access to the content of unencrypted emails. Service developers now have to build in functionality for this.

    A year ago Tutanota received a letter from the Amtsgericht of Itzehoe in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein requesting the police to have access to the content of certain encrypted messages. The police wanted to see the content of emails from criminals using malware to blackmail companies in the state.

    The criminals used an email address from Tutanota. This service offers end-to-end encryption if both the sender and receiver have a Tutanota account. This means that messages on users' devices are encrypted and only decrypted at the recipient. Tutanota itself cannot then view the content. If one of the two parties does not have an account with Tutanota in an email conversation, there can be no end-to-end encryption: the company encrypts a message as soon as it reaches its servers. Tutanota must provide access to this category of messages upon request.

    The company stated that it did not want to comply with the court's request. "I thought the claim was wrong when we received the letter and I think it is still wrong today," said Tutanota director Matthias Pfau to the Süddeutscher Zeitung. Earlier this year, the German court ruled that Tutanota should provide the data and pay a fine of a thousand euros. Service developers are now creating a feature that makes copies of emails that the police can read when a valid order is received from a German court. This therefore does not concern message traffic between two Tutanota users that is protected with end-to-end encryption: access cannot be given to this.

    The mail service does not appeal against the decision, because this would have virtually no chance of being legally successful. The cause lies with the German Telekommunikationsgesetz, which contains too broad rules for access to communication. These rules are said to have their origin in providing telecom providers with access to telephone lines, but according to case law they have a wider scope.

    Last year, for example, the Berlin e-mail provider Posteo tried to defend itself against the transfer of IP addresses from customers to the Public Prosecution Service. Posteo did not store these addresses at all, but at the end of January 2019, the judge ruled that the service should do so and release information at the request of the authorities.

  11. #1151
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    Regulating piracy can help the local music industry, say artistes

    KUALA LUMPUR: The setting up of a regulatory body for the local music industry can help revitalize the sector which is currently in a state of stagnation due to various issues, including piracy.

    The Malaysian Artistes’ Association (Karyawan) president Datuk Freddie Fernandez (pix) said the problem was made worse by the economic slowdown which saw most recording companies as reluctant to take the risk of producing new albums.

    “Today, our artistes are not getting enough jobs which prevent the development of new music talent.

    “Big corporations are also reluctant to invest in concerts organization, unless it involves very popular artistes,” he told Bernama when contacted yesterday.

    He said with the establishment of a regulatory body, the interests of industry players would be protected through strict enforcement of the regulations.

    During a town hall session with local artistes, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was reported as saying that the government would study the proposed establishment of a special body to regulate the music industry in the country.

    Meanwhile, a renowned composer Azhar Abu Bakar or Azmeer said the setting up of such a body could protect local works from being illegally used by foreign producers.

    He also hoped there would be a standard operating procedure (SOP) to serve as a guidance for the industry players, especially among newcomers, of the dos and don’ts.

    “The young generation, particularly those who work at homes or home studios, they may not know that they are at risk of being sued due to mistakes such as lyric alterations or writing inappropriate lyrics that are not suitable with our culture,” he added.

    Singer Adila Idris, meanwhile, hoped the body would be led by individuals of high calibre who understand the needs of the industry players. — Bernama

  12. #1152
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    EU Academics Publish Recommendations to Limit Negative Impact of Article 17 on Users

    In March 2019, the European Parliament adopted the new Copyright Directive, including the widely opposed Article 13 (later renumbered to Article 17). Alongside fears that broad filtering will take place in the absence of official licensing on platforms like YouTube, more than 50 EU academics have now published advice aimed at limiting negative impact on end users.

    Despite some of the most intense opposition seen in recent years, on March 26, 2019, the EU Parliament
    adopted the Copyright Directive.

    The main controversy surrounded Article 17 (previously known as Article 13), which places greater restrictions on user-generated content platforms like YouTube.

    Rightsholders, from the music industry in particular, welcomed the new reality. Without official licensing arrangements in place or strong efforts to obtain licensing alongside best efforts to take down infringing content and keep it down, sites like YouTube (Online Content Sharing Service Providers – OCSSP) can potentially be held liable for infringing content.

    This uncertainty led many to fear for the future of fair use, with the specter of content upload platforms deploying strict automated filters that err on the side of caution in order to avoid negative legal consequences under the new law.

    While the legislation has been passed at the EU level, it still has to be written into Member States’ local law. With that in mind, more than 50 EU Academics have published a set of recommendations that they believe have the potential to limit restrictions on user freedoms as a result of the new legislation.

    A key recommendation is that national implementations should “fully explore” legal mechanisms for broad licensing of copyrighted content. The academics are calling for this to ensure that the preventative obligations of OCSSPs are limited in application wherever possible.

    The academics hope that broad licensing can avoid situations where to avoid liability, OCSSPs would otherwise have to prove they have made “best efforts” to ensure works specified by rightsholders are rendered inaccessible or show that they have “acted expeditiously” to remove content and prevent its reupload following a request from a rightsholder.

    “Otherwise, the freedom of EU citizens to participate in democratic online content creation and distribution will be encroached upon and freedom of expression and information in the online environment would be curtailed,” the academics warn.

    The academics’ recommendations are focused on ensuring that non-infringing works don’t become collateral damage as OCSSPs scramble to cover their own backs and avoid liability.

    For example, the preventative obligations listed above should generally not come into play when content is used for quotation, criticism, or review, or for the purpose of caricature, parody or pastiche. If content is removed or filtered incorrectly, however, Member States must ensure that online content-sharing service providers put in place an “effective and expeditious” complaint and redress system.

    The prospect of automatic filtering at the point of upload was a hugely controversial matter before Article 17 passed but the academics believe they have identified ways to ensure that freedom of expression and access to information can be better protected.

    “[W]e recommend that where preventive measures [as detailed above] are applied, especially where they lead to the filtering and blocking of uploaded content before it is made available to the public, Member States should, to the extent possible, limit their application to cases of prima facie [upon first impression] copyright infringement,” the academics write.

    “In this context, a prima facie copyright infringement means the upload of protected material that is identical or equivalent to the ‘relevant and necessary information’ previously provided by the rightholders to OCSSPs, including information previously considered infringing. The concept of
    equivalent information should be interpreted strictly.”

    The academics say that if content is removed on the basis of prima facie infringement, users are entitled to activate the complaint and redress procedure. If there is no prima facie infringement, content should not be removed until its legal status is determined.

    In cases where user-uploaded content does not meet the prima facie standard but matches “relevant and necessary information” (fingerprints etc) supplied by rightsholders, OCSSPs must grant users the ability to declare that content is not infringing due to fair use-type exceptions.

    “The means to provide such declaration should be concise, transparent, intelligible, and be presented to the user in an easily accessible form, using clear and plain language (e.g. a standard statement clarifying the status of the uploaded content, such as ‘This is a permissible quotation’ or ‘This is a permissible parody’),” the recommendations read.

    If users don’t provide a declaration within a “reasonable” time following upload, the OCSSP (YouTube etc) should be “allowed” to remove the content, with users granted permission to activate the complaint and redress procedure.

    Rightsholders who still maintain that content was removed correctly must then justify the deletion, detailing why it is a prima facie case of infringement and not covered by a fair use-type exemption, particularly the one cited by the user.

    A human review should then be conducted at the OCSSP, which should not be held liable for infringement under Article 17 until the process is complete and legality determined.

    Given that Article 17 has passed, there appears to be limited room to maneuver and there is a long way to go before all Member States write its terms into local law.

    However, even if the above safeguarding recommendations are implemented, it’s clear that substantial resources will have to be expended to ensure that everyone’s rights are protected. As a result, platforms lacking YouTube-sized budgets will undoubtedly feel the pinch.

    Safeguarding User Freedoms in Implementing Article 17 of the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive: Recommendations from European Academics is available here.

  13. #1153
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    Disney+ Launched and Pirates Love It, Especially Mandalorian

    Disney's exclusive streaming service launched in three countries this week. While many new subscribers flocked to the Disney+ platform, others went to pirate sites instead. For some, this is the only way to watch the highly anticipated Mandalorian series. To Disney this shouldn't come as a surprise and the company immediately tried to contain the damage by issuing takedown requests.

    Two years ago, when Disney announced that it would launch its own streaming service, we mused that this would
    keep piracy relevant.

    Yes, another paid streaming service would further fragment the legitimate market. This could motivate some to keep pirating, at least part-time.

    More recently
    research has confirmed that this is indeed a warranted concern as people have limited budgets, but money isn’t the only problem.

    When Disney confirmed that the initial rollout would be limited to the United States, Canada and the Netherlands, the piracy lure only became stronger. Star Wars fans in most parts of the world currently can’t watch the highly anticipated Mandalorian series, unless they pirate.

    With this in mind, we kept a close eye on the official
    Disney+ launch this week. There was an enormous amount of media coverage which, undoubtedly, led to a lot of legitimate subscriptions. But, at the same time, pirate sites were buzzing too.

    Shortly after Disney+ opened shop the first pirated releases started to spread. First through private communities and then over at public torrent sites, cyberlockers, and not-so-legal streaming platforms. After a few hours, pirated copies of the Mandalorian were everywhere.

    This doesn’t really come as a surprise. Disney+ currently uses Widevine encryption, which is similar to what other streaming services use. Downloading or ‘ripping’ these videos doesn’t appear to be too hard.

    And indeed, a quick glance at various pirate sites reveals that the first Mandalorian episode, which is exclusive to Disney+, is widely available in various formats.

    Over the past two days, Mandalorian has already become the most pirated TV-show, with hundreds of thousands of downloads and streams, if not more. While it is far from becoming the next “Game of Thrones,” the potential is certainly there.

    The fact that Disney+ isn’t available in many countries is similar to HBO’s situation when Game of Thrones first came out. This serves as a piracy incentive. After all, people who want to watch Mandalorian in the UK, Australia, and elsewhere, have few other options than to pirate.

    The limited release of Disney+ may actually breed some new pirates. Even worse, there is a chance that many of these pirates may not go legal when the streaming service officially launches in their country.

    For now, Disney’s anti-piracy efforts appear to be focused elsewhere though. The company has sent takedown requests for thousands of URLs that host or link to unauthorized copies of Mandalorian. This includes notices that were sent to Google, with requests to delist these pages.

    As one of the largest entertainment companies in the world, these piracy concerns shouldn’t come as a surprise to Disney. The company probably weighed the pros and cons of its actions, including the limited geographical release, as well as entering an already fragmented streaming landscape.

    In today’s online streaming business, piracy is a given. Disney probably believes that running its own streaming platform will ultimately bring in more money. Piracy or not.

    They may very well be right, but it will happen at the expense of others. That may include some of Disney’s competitors, but also consumers who are not willing to pirate, and those who can’t afford another subscription.

  14. #1154
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    IPTV Supplier Omniverse Agrees to Pay $50 Million in Piracy Damages

    Omniverse, a now-defunct supplier of IPTV streams, has agreed to pay $50 million in piracy damages to several Hollywood studios. Omniverse initially described the piracy allegations as "scandalous" but has since stepped back from its claim. Anti-piracy group ACE, which was a driving force behind the lawsuit, is pleased with yet another legal victory.

    In February, several major Hollywood studios filed
    a lawsuit against Omniverse One World Television.

    Under the flag of anti-piracy group
    ACE, the companies accused Omniverse and its owner Jason DeMeo of supplying of pirate streaming channels to various IPTV services.

    Omniverse sold live-streaming services to third-party distributors, such as Dragon Box and HDHomerun, which in turn offered live TV streaming packages to customers. According to ACE, the company was a pirate streaming TV supplier, offering these channels without permission from its members.

    Omniverse disagreed with this characterization and countered that it did everything by the book. It relied on a deal from the licensed cable company Hovsat, which has a long-standing agreement with DirecTV to distribute a broad range of TV-channels with few restrictions.


    As time went on, however, it transpired that the streaming provider was clearly worried about the legal threat. After several of its distributors distanced themselves from the service, Omniverse decided to wind down its business.

    The streaming provider also filed a third-party complaint (
    pdf) against Hovsat for indemnification and breach of contract, among other things. Omniverse believed that it was properly licensed and wants Hovsat to pay the damages for any alleged infringements if that was not the case.

    That there are damages became crystal clear yesterday, when ACE announced that it had obtained a consent judgment against Omniverse. Both parties have agreed to settle the matter with the streaming provider committing to pay a $50 million settlement.

    “Damages are awarded in favor of Plaintiffs and against Defendants,
    jointly and severally, in the total amount of fifty million dollars,” the proposed judgment reads.

    The agreement also includes a permanent injunction that prevents Omniverse and its owner Jason DeMeo from operating the service and being involved in supplying or offering pirate streaming channels in any other way.

    The damages amount of $50 million is a substantial figure. In the past, however, we have seen that the public figure can be
    substantially higher than what’s agreed in private. In any case, Omniverse may hold Hovsat accountable, as previously suggested.

    Karen Thorland, Senior Vice President at the Motion Picture Association, which has a leading role in the ACE coalition, is pleased with the outcome.

    “This judgment and injunction are a major win for creators, audiences, and the legitimate streaming market, which has been undermined by Omniverse and its ‘back office’ piracy infrastructure for years,” Thorland, says

    Over the past years, ACE has built a steady track record of successful cases against IPTV providers and services. In addition to Omniverse, it also helped to shut down SetTV, Dragon Box, TickBox, Vader Streams, and many third-party Kodi addons.

    The consent judgment and permanent injunction (
    pdf) have yet to be signed off by the court but since both parties are in agreement, that’s mostly a formality.

  15. #1155
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    Content Pirated 'Within Three Hours' of Disney Plus Launch

    'The Mandalorian' Pirated 'Within Three Hours' of Disney Plus Launch: 'All Valuable Content is at Risk'

    The hotly-anticipated Star Wars television show The Mandalorian was uploaded to the internet by pirates within three hours of its launch on Disney+ yesterday.

    The debut episode of the show was being circulated on file sharing websites almost immediately after the new streaming platform went live, with most downloads appearing to originate from Spain and the U.K., according to an analysis by Comparitech (via TVBEurope).

    Industry experts told Newsweek last month that the rise of paywalled video subscription services like Disney+, Apple TV+ and Netflix would inevitably fuel digital piracy. As competition heats up and more companies fight for eyeballs, the situation will only get worse.

    "All valuable content is at risk," warned Simon Trudelle, director of anti-piracy services at content security firm NAGRA. "Consumers want to have access to content, and if they can't, they pick up their phones and search for it. Competing with free is just not sustainable."

    Disney+ became available yesterday to users in the U.S. and Canada, but other regions, including Western Europe, won't get access to the service until next year.

    As conversations about The Mandalorian mounted on social media, including spoiler discussions about a tantalizing end scene, it appears that many Star Wars fans were simply unwilling to wait for a legal release.

    "Pirating Disney's newly-available content is likely to be extremely widespread, especially given the company's slow international roll-out," Comparitech noted in its report. "Many young Star Wars fans who have never torrented before may be among the newest converts to file sharing as they search for copyright-infringing versions of content inaccessible in their own regions."

    Prior to release, online chatter indicated that demand for The Mandalorian would be high, with a slew of commenters on the popular Reddit community r/StarWarsLeaks admitting they planned to access it by any means necessary if there was no way to buy it legally.

    "This has been handled badly," one Reddit user fumed last week. "I know there are a lot of UK-specific licensing agreements to be unpicked so they can list the films and stuff on there but I would have thought they could have started the process for this way back. I'm angry that I have to 'steal' The Mandalorian when I was more than happy to pay for Disney from day one."

    Another person in the Star Wars community added: "I find it absolutely insane that they expect people to just wait until the service is available in their country to watch The Mandalorian.... So ridiculous. They must want to beat [Game of Thrones] as most pirated show or something."

    Frustrated fans took to Twitter yesterday to complain—and openly admit—their plans to pirate the show. "I'm so sorry to the amazing people who made this show, but Disney has left me with no other choice," one user wrote. Others confirmed it was quickly uploaded to torrent websites.

    In 5 days the people of the UK will pirate The Mandalorian. I'm so sorry to the amazing people who made this show, but Disney has left me with no other choice #PirateTheMandalorian

    — Harvey Latham (@HaRvEyLaThAm197) November 7, 2019

    So let me get this straight, if I want to watch The Mandalorian legally, I have to wait until March 2020? Disney , growing a whole new generation of pirates.

    — MARKGERRITS (@MarkGerrits) November 12, 2019

    So we’re not getting Disney in the U.K until 2020, it hurts me to say this but I’m going to have to pirate The Mandalorian which I hate to do because of the hard work of everyone who worked on the show but I’m not waiting until 2020. #DisneyPlus #DisneyPlusUK #TheMandalorian

    — Iain Kay (@iainpaulkay) August 19, 2019

  16. #1156
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    Kodi Addon & Build Repositories Shut Down Citing Legal Pressure

    Two groups involved in the distribution of third-party Kodi addons and 'builds' have shut down citing legal pressure. KodiUKTV and OneNation both ran so-called repositories where software could be downloaded but that activity will not continue into the future. It is currently unknown who threatened the groups but there are a couple of prime candidates.

    Being involved in the development of third-party Kodi addons and ‘builds’ (Kodi installations pre-customized with addons and tweaks) is a somewhat risky activity.

    Providing simple access to otherwise restricted movies and TV shows attracts copyright holders, and that always has the potential to end badly. And it does,
    pretty regularly.

    On November 1, 2019, UK-focused Kodi platform made an announcement on Twitter, stating briefly that “Something has happened this morning. Sorry!” While that could mean anything, an ominous follow-up message indicated that a statement would be released in due course “detailing the future”.

    Several hours later, confirmed what fans already knew, that it had taken down its site. Why that happened remained open to question but a few hours ago the group confirmed that legal action was to blame.

    “We took our website offline 10 days ago closed our repo and the builds due to legal demands against us,”
    announced on Twitter.

    “We will say more when we can bring the site back up safely. But the builds & repo will not be back nor will we host any add-ons anymore for anyone.”

    The closure is particularly bad news for anyone who used the popular DadLife Kodi build that was previously installable via the group’s repository. Whether it will find a new official home somewhere else is open to question.

    But there is more bad news too. In an announcement posted a few hours ago to its Facebook page, Kodi builds and addon repository OneNation revealed that it too had shut down, again as a result of legal pressure.

    “Unfortunately due to outside Legal pressures this group will close with immediate effect along with our Repository etc. We would just like to thank each and every one of you for all your support over the years,” OneNation wrote.

    Noting they’d had an “absolute blast”, OneNation added they were going out with their “heads held high” having done things their way, without “robbing links from others” or accepting payment in any “shape or form”.

    OneNation: another one bites the dust

    OneNation went down with strict instructions for no-one to contact the team for any further information and to treat any additional information published online as “hearsay.” That means that confirming who applied the legal pressure will be reliant on word from the anti-piracy groups most likely to be have been involved.

    TorrentFreak has contacted the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment and the Federation Against Copyright Theft for comment. We’ll post an update here if any confirmation or denials are received from either group.

  17. #1157
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    Post Thanks / Like offline, ends up in the Gully

    Since a few days, the warez forum is offline again. Only a Cloudflare error decorates the domain without an info, why they are offline. The competitor has probably closed its doors forever. The domain is currently showing contents of without changing the address. Apparently you have merged both forums.

    Again hardware problems with is known to suffer from server problems every now and then. Sometimes even with days downtime. The users will not even afterwards explained how it came to the dropouts. The only thing left for the visitors is to wait and drink tea until the operators have repaired their servers and everything is running again.

    Short info for those readers who do not know the Boerse yet: is a popular destination for many illegal content on the Internet. The forum shares links to illegally duplicated movies, series, music, games and apps, for free of course. That this is not completely legal, goes without saying. It is therefore not recommended to download or even share at It always applies the rule: the upload, download and Sharen etc. happens at your own risk. landed in the Gully?, on the other hand, has a different story. She was very similar to the Boerse in his role. Now myGully only relays to Accounts were not taken over. Although still refers to the MyGully toplist. But this is now redirected to the domain. There is no announcement or explanation on the main page yet.

    It should be noted that and are two completely different pages, although they share the same name. So has the old design and a completely different one.

    Maybe a statement will be published because of the redirect. So far this has not happened. You do not need to hope for a statement from As it has been so often, it will take a few days again and the forum is easily accessible without comment.

  18. #1158
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    Disney+'s new series gets to be the most pirated TV show

    The Mandalorian Has Topped the Piracy Charts in the Few Days Since Launch

    Disney+ launched in a small handful of regions this week, and while everyone else waits for it to drop, they've turned to piracy.

    The Mandalorian is one of the shows available on the platform, arriving in the UK on March 31 along with the new service itself, but it seems that a combination of not wanting to wait for it to arrive (or not wanting to pay the monthly subscription cost, for those with access to it), has lead to the show has become the most pirated TV show of the last few days, with hundreds of thousands downloads and streams.

    Getting the series up on piracy sites hasn't proven to be to much of a challenge - Disney uses Widevine DRM, which has seemingly caused some issues for users on particular devices. And regardless of your thoughts on piracy, it was bound to happen given the months of waiting time due to the staggered launch of the service.

    Disney has tried to keep the pirates in check to some degree, sending out takedown requests in an effort to nip it in the bud, but we'll see how effective that is.

  19. #1159
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    Academics intervene on copyright safe harbour debates in the US and Europe

    Academics in both Europe and the US have this week expressed concerns about recent developments in copyright law that favour rights owners, in both cases relating to the music industry’s various battles with the copyright safe harbour.

    In the former case the professors urge EU countries to minimise the impact of the safe harbour reform that is contained within the recent European Copyright Directive. In the latter, a bunch of American professors say a judge’s recent opinion in the ongoing record industry v Charter Communications case is worryingly wrong.

    More than 50 European academics – including some based in the UK – have put their name to a paper all about “safeguarding user freedoms” in the context of article seventeen (formerly thirteen) of the aforementioned directive and how it is now implemented.

    That was the element of the directive most proactively lobbied for by the wider music industry, of course. It increases the liabilities of user-upload platforms who have previously said they can’t be held liable for copyright infringing content uploaded to their platforms because of the copyright safe harbour that exists to protect internet intermediaries.

    The paper notes that article seventeen provides two ways for user-upload platforms to still avoid liability: securing licences for any third party content uploaded by users and/or having systems in place to filter out and block copyright infringing material.

    The latter, the academics say, risks infringing the rights of internet users, so therefore everyone should prioritise the former option, ie licensing.

    Indeed, they add, “the legislative design of article seventeen clearly favours the first – authorisation – avenue. As noted in the statement by Germany accompanying the approval of the directive in the Council in April 2019, ‘in the European compromise, licensing is the method chosen to achieve’ the … goal under this provision”.

    Now, the music industry would also prefer it if the outcome of article seventeen was more licensing of its rights, albeit on its terms. However, the academic paper notes there are different kinds of licensing, not all of which the music industry favours.

    By which they mean compulsory or statutory licensing where rights owners are due payment when their music is used but lose the right to say “no” in licensing negotiations. Generally the music industry opposes any such moves in the digital market, reckoning that compulsory or statutory licensing generally forces the rates licensees pay down. And the aim of article seventeen is to force the rates the likes of YouTube pay up.

    “[The directive] suggests, as only one example, direct licensing from the copyright holder, but leaves open other ways to acquire authorisation”, the academics say. “Besides direct licensing, additional options may include collective licensing mechanisms (voluntary, extended or mandatory) and statutory licensing (relying on remunerated exceptions or limitations)”.

    They add: “National implementations of this provision should therefore focus on … fully exploring legal mechanisms for broad licensing of the uses covered by article seventeen”.

    Much of the rest of the report focuses on copyright exceptions – scenarios where people are legally allowed to user copyright materials without licence – and concerns that any content filters employed by user-upload platforms will not be able to recognise such things. This issue was raised frequently by critics of article seventeen when the directive was working its way through the law-making process.

    Over in the US, the academics are chattering about the ongoing legal battle between the Recording Industry Association Of America and the internet service provider Charter Communications.

    It is one of three cases being pursued by the American labels who argue that certain ISPs should not enjoy safe harbour protection from liability for their customer’s infringement on the basis that they had deliberately shoddy systems for dealing with repeat infringers. Having such a system is required to benefit from the American safe harbour.

    It’s one specific element of this case that the academics have intervened on by filing a so called amicus brief with the court. The RIAA wants to hold Charter liable for both contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. The latter is harder to prove but would allow the labels to claim higher damages. To prove vicarious infringement the labels need to show that the ISP directly financially benefited from its customer’s infringing activity.

    In another RIAA v An ISP case – against Grande Communications – the vicarious infringement claim was dismissed. But when a magistrate judge recently reviewed the Charter case he said he thought the vicarious infringement element should not be axed at this stage of the dispute.

    This was partly based on Charter promoting its super-fast internet speeds, something that – the labels argue – would be particularly attractive to those accessing unlicensed content via file-sharing networks.

    Hitting back at those claims recently, Charter told the court: “By relaxing the direct financial benefit prong to something far more attenuated than what is required, the [magistrate judge] threatens to open the floodgates for massive liability against ISPs for merely advertising and making available high speed internet to the general public”.

    The academics involved in the new amicus brief agree.

    They write: “Amici submit this brief because they are concerned that [the magistrate judge’s opinion] misapplies the legal standard for the direct financial benefit prong of the vicarious liability test and improperly loosens the pleading standard in a way that would impose unprecedented risks of liability and make it nearly impossible for any ISP to win [early] dismissal of bare, conclusory, and speculative allegations”.

    The precedent this case could set, therefore, would force ISPs to “either endure protracted, expensive and burdensome litigation … [or] to avoid that burden, to over-enforce and over-deter possible infringing activity by users”.

    Although the amicus brief is specifically focused on the vicarious infringement element of the Charter case, you sense the academics are also more generally criticising the music industry for going after ISPs rather than the operators of specific piracy platforms or networks.

    At one point they note: “One reason vicarious liability doctrine has thus far evolved in a measured and cautious way is that enforcement and deterrence at the ISP conduit level would have far more wide-reaching negative consequences than enforcement and deterrence at the individual infringer, content-host, or application-provider levels (eg individual websites or platforms like YouTube, Napster, etc)”.

    It’s not uncommon for academics to express concerns about the extension of copyright protections or any new limitations being put on safe harbours and copyright exceptions.

    Lobbyists and lawyers in the copyright industries often criticise such academics for obsessing about theoretical negative consequences of key reforms and rulings, arguing that many past doom and gloom predictions about stronger copyright protections infringing free speech never came to pass once those protections were in place.

    Perhaps because of that, academic interventions don’t always hold huge sway over law-makers and courts. But sometimes they do. It will be interesting to see what happens in these two cases on each side of the Atlantic.

  20. #1160
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    How to effectively tackle piracy: Expert insights

    With the SportsPro OTT Summit drawing near, we have approached some top-level industry voices for their thoughts on subjects of keen interest in Madrid.

    This roundtable discussion on matters related combating piracy offers a preview to the kind of insights on offer to delegates at the event and features Jean-Philippe Plantevin, NAGRA's vice-president, anti-piracy; Holger Blask, the German Football League's (DFL) executive vice-president, audiovisual rights; SmartProtection chief operating officer, Javier Capilla; and Britta Sölter, Athletia managing director.

    What are the mistakes being made by broadcasters and rights holders in tackling piracy?

    Holger Blask: First of all, we need to understand that piracy is a complex and global problem which has evolved over time.

    All of the involved parties on the legal side, like rights holders, licensees and partners are doing their best they can, based on their local legislation. But we need to accept that anyone who is providing illegal services, is doing it on purpose and as such is not voluntarily following the same legal framework.

    As long as the threat of piracy remains, it’s crucial to work with a number of key stakeholders including licensees, law enforcement, political entities, clubs and fans. The sharing of information, technologies and resources are to minimising the threat of piracy.

    The importance of a strong, unified voice is mandatory combined with the sharing of information, technologies and resources are decisive to minimising the threat of piracy.

    Javier Capilla: Satellite signals are used to broadcast live events to a wider audience, making their transmissions accessible to those living in rural zones where cable is unavailable. This helps to increase the level of coverage and viewership; however, it also opens the door to piracy.

    Satellite signals are not coded which means anyone can access them. A retransmission using satellite will not provide a real time stream however we are talking about a delay of just a few seconds. Many pirates are intercepting these signals and sharing content illegally in this way.

    Another way in which cybercriminals are retransmitting live broadcasts is by accessing the official broadcast and using video capture software to distribute it illegally online.

    Technology does exist which allows official broadcasters to react efficiently and protect their events, the use of fingerprint or watermark technology makes it easier to track down and eliminate these illegal streams. Unfortunately, it’s proving difficult to develop preventative measure due to the reasons mentioned above. If consumers have access to the content, then unfortunately they also have the tools to distribute it illegally online.

    Britta Sölter: I wouldn't say that broadcasters and rights holders are making mistakes. All of them take the protection of their copyrights very seriously and are well aware of the threats it imposes on their business models. But the digital environment is ever growing, fast changing and gaining in complexity every day. This makes it hard to keep track of and remain in control of the distribution of your content.

    What technological advances are emerging to deal with the issue?

    HB: From our perspective there are three particular important areas which represent the core advantages of our joint venture with Athletia, Ryghts. Firstly, fully automated detection and data mining working at global scale to gather as much as possible information about the illegal ecosystem and the involved parties and individuals. Also, manual review for quality assurance and legal evidence with efficient usage of human resources where it’s needed, providing the foundation for concrete legal actions. Last but not least, enhanced automated tracking and enforcement actions with the integration of legal partners and procedures, reducing the complexity of internal and external legal resources.

    Jean-Philippe Plantevin: With protected infrastructure and solid legal frameworks in place, technology can be an even more effective way to tackle the piracy epidemic. From incorporating forensic watermarking into the content to track where the theft took place, to monitoring and blocking streams, employing advanced technologies to stop piracy are key to success.

    JC: On social media channels we can identify illegal retransmissions through image and sound recognition systems. By comparing our clients official broadcast, we can match either the sound or image to illegal streams. In the case of sports broadcasts, the image remains the same. Take for example a Champions League game, this event is transmitted to numerous countries by a variety of different broadcasters. In order protect our clients broadcast against piracy we monitor the audio layer. We then use big data and our machine learning software to review large amounts of information to determine which are illegal streams.

    BS: Detailed analysis of captured data will allow for more comprehensive detection of underlying structures and the provision of extensive evidence. However, efficient enforcement will require joint political and legal efforts, as well as cooperation by access providers to hold off unauthorised distribution that knows know borders or local legislation.

    Nine per cent of Britons admit to illegally streaming the Premier League, is education a problem?

    JPP: From our experience, we believe that in order to stop piracy, all stakeholders – from service providers and content owners to governments and consumer groups – need to work together and address the challenge from multiple angles. That should indeed include educating consumers about the impact of piracy, enact legislation to enable authorities to take action, as well as anti-piracy technologies that can identify, monitor and block illicit transmissions.

    JC: There is clearly a cultural issue in the lack of industrial property protection and education is a factor to consider but perhaps not the most relevant one.

    Demand for OTT services are growing and there is a constant fight for sports rights that is turning this facility into a problem. Previously just one service existed, which offered football, soccer, basketball etc. Now consumers must pay to access different platforms depending on the content they wish to view.

    BS: This is an interesting point. Users that admit to illegally streaming content are well aware of their wrongdoing. Education will only have a very limited effect in these cases. But looking at the reasons for users accessing illegal activities, it's mainly three: ease of use, limited legal consequences and dissatisfaction with legal offerings. This is where measures to protect copyrights should start: providing attractive legal offerings while making it as hard and "dangerous" as possible to access illegal streams.

    However, I'm still convinced education can play an important role in educating those users that unknowingly access and consume illegal content. Let's face it: illegal offerings oftentimes have highly professional structures and offerings: there's ads, logins, high quality streams and on some offerings even subscription models that users can pay via the various commonly used payment methods. If you aren't a sophisticated online user those offerings might not look suspicious to you after all.

    How do you halt the rampant piracy of BeoutQ?

    HB: Looking at the BeoutQ case specifically, they are undertaking one of the world’s most cynical and widespread piracies to date. As guardians of the game we must do all that we can to protect investment in its future which is being damaged by criminals like BeoutQ.

    Since 2018, we have collectively been working with an international legal counsel to monitor and compile evidence against BeoutQ, whose broadcasts are regularly and on an industrial scale made available on an illegal basis. In addition, we spoke to nine law firms in KSA, each of which either simply refused to act on our behalf or initially accepted the instruction, only later to recuse themselves.

    A conducted report has been published and confirmed that BeoutQ’s pirate broadcasts have been transmitted using satellite infrastructure owned and operated by Arabsat.

    While we have received reports that BeoutQ transmissions are currently disrupted, we nevertheless call on Arabsat and all other satellite providers to stop - and going forward agree to refrain from - providing a platform for piracy, which harms not just legitimate licensees, fans and players but also the sports that it abuses.

    Cutting off its access to transmission services would be a major step in the fight to stop BeoutQ.

    JPP: For an operator’s anti-piracy activities to be truly successful, they need the support of legislatures across multiple territories to create legal frameworks that enable them to block streams wholesale and work with the authorities to arrest the criminals. It’s a complex situation with different legal regulations around the world but, as pirates become more international, so do much the activities that can stop them – and that’s only possible with the help of governments and industry associations.

    Given the extra eyeballs piracy provides, should that be factored into partnership valuations?

    HB: It is important that we and our partners have a direct engagement and that fans around the globe are aware where to find quality content in a safe, secure and reliable environment - without the negative impacts and risks illegal offerings are providing.

    JPP: With sports industry revenue increasingly depending on sponsorship and advertising, any loss of official TV or video viewership is actually a growing and complex business issue. Hundreds of million dollars are already lost by brands that either suffer from lower official reported audiences or broadcasters that pay for rights they don’t monetise, as viewers watch though black or grey market offerings.

    While accounting for pirate viewers seems an interesting proposition on paper, the industry stance is that no major organisation – from sponsors to teams - can rely on data coming from auditing the use of illegal services.

    BS: Piracy is not about extra eyeballs - it's about illegitimately taking away eyeballs from those who invest in providing a sport or making it available to the public. All this while making significant amounts of money from it. Apart from the fact that pirates usually don't share data on their viewership, factoring in those eyeballs would legitimate an illegal activity. One that is completely out of control. At the same time, we have seen numerous discussions on brand safety over the past years - I'm not convinced, partners would value extra eyeballs in an unsafe environment.

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