Rather than acting in isolation, ACE members pooled their resources, and today the results speak for themselves.
Hundreds of sites have either been shut down or disrupted in the last five years, and new casualties are recorded every month, mostly every week. It’s no surprise that other industry players are taking notes and coming up with their own plans.
New Coalition Sees Benefits of Teamwork
Centered around South America-based non-profit organization CERTAL (Center for Studies for the Development of Telecommunications and Access to the Information Society of Latin America), the Global Anti-Piracy Pact (Pacto Global Antipiratería) was officially formed this month.
Around 20 entities, including companies from the video and telecoms sector, plus regulators and government representatives, began promoting the initiative in November. A tour of South America was followed by a summit and a signing ceremony this month at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington DC.
“The objective of this pact is to demonstrate that isolated actions of the owners or of the participants in the distribution chain of intellectual works are not enough, but that joint and coordinated efforts between private parties and public-private articulation are required,” CERTAL explained late last week.
How the coalition will function day-to-day is currently unclear, but its mission statement covers familiar anti-piracy tactics.
The pact foresees companies in the IP/telecoms sector working with governments (including Uruguay, Venezuela, Colombia, and Argentina) to raise awareness of piracy and inform the public of its effects on content production, distribution, and beyond. Global Anti-Piracy Pact will also propose/establish new standards and best practices to protect the legal market from unlawful competition.
A key focus for CERTAL is the fight against IPTV piracy, audiovisual content in general, and live sporting events, so tackling illicit providers will be a key aim of the coalition.
ISP Blocking Measures
Several countries in South America already block pirate sites, but the coalition is expecting much more than that. All governments working with the coalition are required to put administrative blocking procedures in place, i.e only those that require limited judicial involvement.
Countries that don’t already have administrative blocking must incorporate the issue into their 2023 legislative agendas. Meeting that standard on paper may not be impossible but implementing rapid blocking, especially to cover live events, requires careful preparation. Fortunately, ISP signatories are prepared to make everything as straightforward as possible.
Governments must “guarantee an expedited path through specialized entities to order the blocking of Internet service providers in their respective countries. (ISPs) of retransmissions of illegal content over the Internet, whether on demand or live,” the mission statement reads.
For their part, teleco signatory companies will “actively promote and cooperate with respect to the implementation of the aforementioned blocking mechanisms.”
Other Anti-Piracy Measures
The parties acknowledge that the illegal offer of content has as its ultimate purpose the generation of illegitimate economic income for those who carry out such criminal activity, and there are no altruistic purposes.
This extract from the agreement is followed by three common monetization methods – advertising, subscription payments, and the sale of preconfigured hardware devices. Signatories will be expected to establish “effective mechanisms” to demonetize online pirate services in respect of the above and “any other that may arise in the future.”
The agreement further notes that content watermarking and similar systems are underutilized in South America, meaning that tracking pirated content back to the source can be more difficult.
As a result, all rightsholders and distributor signatories must implement this type of technology and actively demand implementation by others in the chain. These solutions should be “mandatory” and should be considered a “basic necessary standard” to operate in the market.
CERTAL says that “criminal organizations” are behind today’s piracy platforms. They are “extremely dynamic, constantly evolving” so can adapt almost immediately to technological changes.