CASBAA is a firm supporter of intellectual property rights, and for good reason – the pay-TV industry in Asia loses more than a billion US dollars annually to unauthorized connections of various types to our member companies’ networks.

CASBAA monitors developments in the region and maintains a twin dialogue with governments and with industry. We believe that anti-piracy efforts depend crucially on three elements:

  • Technology – to provide strong safeguards against unauthorized access.
  • Law – to provide updated, meaningful penalties to deter infringement of copyright and of broadcasting control laws.
  • Enforcement – to ensure that laws are carried out and that a vicious circle of piracy does not undermine the industry’s contribution to Asian development.

CASBAA’s submission to this year’s intellectual property review by the U.S. Trade Representative documents an ongoing decline in IP protection in many Asian markets – due directly to mushrooming piracy as broadband networks are built out. Among other issues, the submission comments on: The Chinese IT industry’s supportive role in global TV piracy Hong Kong’s decline from being an IP…

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...

Responding to a consultation paper from the Singapore Ministry of Law, CASBAA "warmly welcomed" proposals to empower courts to issue injunctions that would prohibit Singaporeans from accessing the most egregious pirate websites. The steps are badly needed, CASBAA said, as "the rapid growth of flagrantly infringing websites in recent years has eroded the business of the pay-TV industry." Legitimate content providers trying to serve the Singapore market – online and offline – are "impeded by competition from unregulated, untaxed offshore pirate websites that pay nothing to creators, artists, writers, musicians, and all the people who make the industry function." The Association hoped for early enactment and bringing into operation of the new judicial enforcement mechanism. Read the CASBAA submission here

We Support Singapore's Creative Community Wednesday, 02 April 2014 The growth of online content theft in Singapore is a topic of growing concern and numbers show that Singapore, on a per capita basis, has an exceedingly high degree of online infringement relative to other countries not only in Asia but around the world. Singapore's advanced communications environment providing high-speed internet, attractive ISP packages with unlimited downloads and high smartphone penetration create an infrastructure that facilitates illegal downloading but there are also indications that suggest an increased degree of consumer acceptance of online piracy as a way of accessing content in Singapore. A recent study by international market researchers Sycamore Research found that 7 out of 10 Singaporean youths admitted to being active pirates, 66% of active pirates agreed that piracy was stealing, and they did it anyway to avoid paying for content. This situation threatens the continued success of the vibrant media and entertainment industry supporting tens of thousands of high wage jobs in Singapore. Get informed. Find more information about the problem in the Sycamore study: Sycamore media release here Sycamore Study here See the views of Singapore artists and musicians: "Better Internet" Video here Consultation Paper issued by The Ministry of Law in Signapore Download here Read online here Check...

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.

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.

Click here to read the Singapore Parliament Reports

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 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."...

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