AVIA: 53% of Thai consumers watch pirate video; site-blocking rules announced

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Image source: AVIA CAP

Thai authorities have announced that infringing Web sites have 15 days to shut down after receiving a warning, according to the Coalition Against Piracy within AVIA, the Asia Video Industry Alliance.  Sites that subsequently redirect or change domain names still fall within the warning.  Operators of infringing sites that don’t comply with a shut-down notice will now be fined.

The risks don’t just affect rights-holders.  According to Piset Chiyasak, Vice President of the Intellectual Property Association of Thailand (IPAT), “Consumers who buy ISDs (illicit streaming devices) or access piracy streaming websites are also funding crime groups, and wasting their time and money when the channels and websites are blocked and stop working.”

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AVIA also summarized research about piracy in Thailand that was developed by YouGov, which says that 53% of Thai consumers use pirate streaming and torrent sites and 43% use illegal streaming devices.  66% of Thai consumers cancelled some or all of their legal pay TV services as a result.

Why it matters

Site blocking is effective.  A similar measure was recently put in place in Indonesia, where piracy traffic dropped by 68% in the period between August 2019 and June 2020.

This can be instructive to regulators in other countries – particularly in the United States, where site-blocking policies are cumbersome to enforce.  If a pirate site changes address or domain, a new notice must be issued.

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