EC gets input toward its 2022 Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List

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Image source: European Commission

A number of media industry stakeholders submitted inputs to the European Commission’s 2022 “Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List.” These included the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), Alibaba Group, the Motion Picture Association, the Premier League, beIN Media France and others.

Announced in April, AAPA’s February contribution highlighted the main actors involved in intellectual property rights (IPR) infringement outside the European Union (EU), and to raise consumer awareness about them.

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AAPA segmented pirate sources into five categories:

  • Cyberlockers, which give access to copyright-protected content, uploaded anonymously into their hosting servers. Some cyberlockers are willing to cooperate and even have set up Advanced Takedown Tool (ATTs) to facilitate the notice and takedown process.
  • Hosting providers, which are “a notable issue for live streaming piracy. One of the main problems rightsholders face is that several illegal streaming sites are hosted on the servers of those companies.”
  • Live streaming platforms, which “push the live feed from a computer or encoder to the platform and receive a live stream URL they can publish on any online resource.”
  • “IPTV” and streaming apps: which provide access to “legal IPTV services in different countries worldwide are broadcasters, telecommunications companies, and private network operators, among others,” without license to do so.
  • TV operators: “local operators with strong local ties and established reputations (having signs, brands, etc.) illegally market terrestrial television  by broadcasting copyright-protected channels and programmes without the rightsholders’ agreement.”

AAPA reported 38 “Top infringers of content,” and 27 hosting providers that enable infringement.  Included in that list are Cloudflare and others that have some notoriety in anti-piracy circles.

Read the full AAPA Press Release for this announcement

Read the description of the EU’s Public Consultation on the Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List

Read the entries submitted

Read AAPA’s submission

Read the EU’s 2020 Counterfeit and Piracy Watch List

Why it matters

This list provides a handy reference resource and starting point for media and entertainment industry stake-holders who want to identify well-known enablers of illegal content distribution – and those who serve them – for the European Union.

This process and its resulting deliverable are similar to those for the Notorious Markets List (aka the Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy), published by the Office of the US Trade Representative, a department under the Executive Office of the President of the United States.

The submitting organizations noted the consequencies of piracy across the entire audiovisual value chain and had a consensus view that the piracy challenge needs to be met on multiple levels, including educational campaigns, use of technology, and increased enforcement activity. Legislators and policymakers have the opportunity to implement a range of non-technical countermeasures to create methods that are appropriate to their causes, and to allow effective enforcement.

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