5th International Seminar on Combating Audiovisual Content Piracy

The Alliance Against Pay TV Piracy (ALIANZA) organized a seminar in the department of Salto to address the problem of illegal contents that affects governments, entertainment companies and users.

May 9th, 2019 – A new anti-piracy seminar organized by the Alliance Against Pay TV Piracy (ALIANZA) was held in the department of Salto with the presence of national and international experts.

Marta Ochoa, Executive Director of ALIANZA for Latin America; Hernán Racciatti, Information Security Expert and Director of SIClabs Consultants; Diego Dabrio, Responsible for Global Content Protection from LaLiga (Spain) and Jorge Bacaloni, Counsel & Antipiracy Chief Officer from Turner Argentina ,were present at the “5th International Seminar on Combating Audiovisual Content Piracy”.

In the first place, the Executive Director of ALIANZA pointed out that 70 % of Internet users don’t acknowledge piracy as a negative practice and thus, 50 % of the population in Latin America uses online sites that provide illegal content that is protected by copyright. It is currently estimated that 110 million people access illegal content in South America.

“One of the main challenges is the availability of pirate audiovisual content on legal Internet platforms, which somehow legitimizes them in the eyes of the users”, he said.

In addition, he revealed that piracy affects the economy since it represents “an annual loss of USD 1.4 billion in uncollected taxes for Latin American countries and USD 6.5 billion for the industry at large”. At the same time, it has cut 50,000 jobs due to the reduction in the number of pay TV subscribers.

Finally, she stressed the “vulnerability” of the information security of Internet users, given the large number of people who provide their personal data on illegal sites. “When people install a pirate application and watch a game or a movie, they are opening the doors to their homes, their virtual world, where they probably have pictures of their family, phone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, all kinds of information to which the pirate has access. That’s the very high price you pay for accessing illegal sites”, Ochoa said.

In second place, Bacaloni said that the great challenge that the audiovisual entertainment industry faces is developing effective strategies against online piracy. “In recent years the industry has matured in terms of its behavior towards common threats. Our industry has built a united front in the fight against piracy, we have created an environment where there are no competitors or counterparts but rather strategic partners. Our mission is to bring the public sectors on board to share our experiences and needs and build synergies. Their collaboration is essential in the fight against this scourge that affects everyone,” he said.

Racciatti explained that piracy is “an ecosystem” that involves several agents. “There is no single participant. There is a network of actors behind the scenes and each one of them plays a well-defined role. It is quite common that whoever generates the malware is not the same agent who distributes it, generally this is a service that is provided and those involved may be spread throughout different countries of the world, which makes it very difficult to control these illicit actions”, he said.

Diego Dabrio, from LaLiga (Spain), took part in the international panel. He discussed the problem of illegal streaming of football contents and presented LaLiga’s anti-piracy strategy and several success stories. “Piracy is a crime and all of us at LaLiga are firmly committed to fighting it. In this sense, we have made significant efforts both human and technological. In addition, we work hand in hand with our partners (licensees) to eradicate this terrible scourge that affects the entertainment industry, which is an economic driver that so many people depend on—whether directly or indirectly. Football, like all live content, is the weakest link in the chain and needs legal and regulatory frameworks that provide effective protection mechanisms in real time”.

Diego Fernández, partner in IP, IT & Privacy at the Argentine law firm Marval, O’Farrell & Mairal was also in attendance. Fernandez stressed that the measures aimed at blocking pirate content that is broadcast live online do not affect the neutrality of the network, which is something that is usually misunderstood due to lack of knowledge. Blocking content that infringes the broadcasting rights of right holders has a solid legal basis and does not affect the rights of third parties.

Dr. Alejandro Alterwain, FERRERE Law Firm, was in charge of analyzing the relevant legislation in place. He explained the legal framework applicable to IPTV services in Uruguay (devices used with an Internet connection that offer access to paid television channels through their own website or through an app), and explained the regulations that penalize such activity and practical aspects to be taken into account.

To close the event, there was a panel discussion with officials from the National Customs Directorate, the Communications Services Regulatory Unit (URSEC), the National Association of Uruguayan Broadcasters (ANDEBU), the Uruguayan Chamber of Subscription Television (CUTA) and Marval Law Firm, the most important law firm in Argentina.

Washington Melo, CUTA representative, briefly spoke about the negative effects of online piracy on the Uruguayan industry. “This started out as something minor, but it grew exponentially. Many will think that cable companies always complain, but we have our backs to the wall in this respect. We lose subscribers and content providers demand increasingly more,” he explained.

Nicolás Cendoya, URSEC representative, said that the organization is committed to “participating in discussions to move forward with a regulatory framework that provides the necessary technological and legal answers to address the problem of online piracy”.

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