Everything’s Moving Online: Annual US report on notorious piracy markets documents shift to greater online piracy.

Monday, 09 March 2015

The US Trade Representative published its annual report on notorious piracy markets, and the report continues a shift toward greater emphasis on online piracy websites. The 2014 list reflects nominations of sites that engage in copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting as well as registrars that facilitate the distribution of pirated and counterfeit products, including medicines.

In earlier years, the report focused entirely on physical markets, but now, USTR noted, "The Internet has brought about a global revolution in the authorized and unauthorized distribution of films, music, software, video games, and books. In many markets, unauthorized online distribution of, or access to, copyright-protected content largely has replaced unauthorized distribution via physical media." So the report focuses on both virtual and physical marketplaces. Interestingly, USTR observed that this year it "received fewer nominations for physical markets than in the past."

Asia comes in for discussion in several places. Physical markets in Thailand, India and Indonesia are listed, along with websites in China and Vietnam. The biggest attention is focused, not surprisingly, on China: "several of the nominations identified China as the primary source of counterfeit products. Worldwide, from the Americas, to Africa, to Eastern Europe, and in Southeast Asia, Chinese-origin counterfeit goods find their way into markets, businesses, and homes."

The entire report can be read here.


Study: Online Piracy Sites Draw $227 Million in Annual Ad Revenue

Friday, 21 February 2014

Content theft sites pushing pirated movies, music and TV programs made nearly a quarter of a billion dollars last year from advertising, according to a new study from the Digital Citizens Alliance.

The report, Good Money Gone Bad: Digital Thieves and the Hijacking of the Online Ad Business, found that the 30 largest piracy sites each stand to make more than $4 million a year in ad revenue.

Download the full report here.


Can Court Injunctions be Effective Against Online Piracy?

Monday, 27 January 2014

Along with CASBAA members, companies in other parts of the world are coping with quantum leaps in piracy of television content. A relatively small number of highly profitable pirate websites play an important role in building and promoting the pirate eco-system, and European courts have recently found justification to order blocking of some of these sites. In a legal info-sharing webinar, eminent legal practitioners from Europe gave CASBAA members a bit of the history and described current developments in judicial site blocking injunctions.

Download the powerpoint presentation from this webinar here.


US Pay-TV Piracy Gets Korean Businessman US$28 million Fine

Monday, 19 August 2013

Antipiracy website reports that a US court in San Diego has ordered Korean businessman Soo Jong Yeo and his company Vicxon Corp fined US$28 million for shipping internet-key-sharing boxes to the USA. The case was brought by North American pay-TV provider Dish Network/Echostar, whose program bouquet could be intercepted by the key-sharing devices. It was a follow-on to a 2012 decision which already saw the US leaders of this piracy conspiracy fined $64 million, bringing the total fines in this set of cases to $92 million.

See here for the story. 

The legal reasoning in these case was interesting: the court recorded violations of the US Digital Milennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which prohibits marketing, importing, distributing, etc. etc. of circumvention devices, components, software or technology. And it said that the fact that the set-top-boxes in question might theoretically have been used to receive satellite FTA programming was not relevant. "Downstream customers' lawful or fair use of circumvention devices does not relieve [the defendant] from liability for trafficking of such devices under DMCA," because the "receiver and iHub have several firmware and hardware components that serve limited or no legitimate purpose other than circumvention of DISH Network's security system." The fine was calculated by reference to the DMCA's minimum statutory damages of US$200 per violation. (At least several hundred thousand pirate boxes were imported and sold by the conspirators.)

Unfortunately, a simple internet search still reveals many current offers for the same piracy equipment on China-based internet sales sites, all specifying they are for shipment to the USA. The import ring may have been busted in the USA, but the China piracy export machine chugs doubt with profits to the Korean owners!

For those interested in more information, the Summary Judgment of the US court can be downloaded here.


Pirate cable operator in Sweden fined US$1.8 million

Friday, 05 July 2013

A Swedish man has been ordered to pay SEK12 million (€1.38 million) in damages to four pay-TV companies after been founding guilty of possession of pirate TV decoders.

Read more here


Arab ‘pirate’ TV stations taken off air

Monday, 24 June 2013

Egyptian satellite operator Nilesat has removed two Arab TV stations that allegedly broadcast pirated content.

Read more here


More pay-TV piracy arrests in Greece

Friday, 21 June 2013

Continued efforts by the police electronic crime prosecution departments in Greece and Cyprus have resulted in twelve more cases involving piracy of pay-TV satellite services. These were heard before the Public Prosecutor and criminal prosecutions have been initiated against the defendants.

See full article here


Pirate Website Busted in California

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Three brothers from Northern California have been charged with operating an illegal website which offered pirated streaming of popular TV shows and movies. They face up to five years in prison. The State Attorney General's Office confirmed that Hop Hoang and his brothers, Tony Hoang and Huynh Hoang were arraigned on multiple counts each, including grand theft, conspiracy and receiving stolen property. See the full article here.


Twin Challenges of Online Piracy

Friday, 12 October 2012

At a global conference of regulators and business execs in Singapore this week, a keynote speech by AETN All Asia Networks MD Louis Boswell described two things that have to be done to stem consumers going online for illegal downloads and streams of video material:  the industry needs to continue to find new ways of delivering high quality content to consumers in the way they want to consume it, and governments need to take regulatory action to send the clear message that piracy is wrong.   “At the moment many regulators in this region are simply signaling that they don’t want to fight and that is a huge mistake,” said Boswell.   “The onus is on our industry to innovate and be better than pirates, but without a strong legal framework to protect our intellectual property we will fail.”   Read the full text of the speech here.


Three strikes regs for UK online piracy

Friday, 29 June 2012

Ofcom is planning to encourage UK internet users to download films and music legally with a new code that would require large ISPs to inform customers of allegations that their internet connection has been used to infringe copyright.

The media regulator has published a draft code for consultation that it said includes measures to help inform the public and promote lawful access to digital content.

The code would initially cover ISPs with more than 400,000 broadband-enabled fixed lines, which currently includes BT, Everything Everywhere, O2, Sky, TalkTalk Group and Virgin Media. The draft code requires ISPs to send letters to customers, at least a month apart, informing them when their account is connected to reports of suspected online copyright infringement.

Download Ofcom Consultation

Read more:


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