The Asia Video Industry Association’s 2024 edition provides a snapshot of the media and entertainment industry from a South Asia perspective and current perspectives on piracy and the fight against it in that region.
AVIA’s Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) has partnered with regulators across the South Asia region to enact and enforce pirate site blocking. In Indonesia, CAP referred more than 400 pirate sites to be blocked by conventional DNS blocking and an additional 700 for IP blocking. In turn, Indonesia’s Intellectual Property Office (DGIPR) blocks sites with infringing programming while its Ministry of Communication (Kominfo) takes charge of blocking pirate sites that promote gambling or pornography. In August, AVIA conducted its 2023 State of Piracy Summit event in Jakarta.
In Malaysia, CAP has referred nearly 250 infringing sites to the country’s Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) every four to six weeks for blocking. In Singapore, where site blocking legislation has been in effect for ten years, CAP obtained an order against more than 20 pirate sites, with more to come before 2023 year-end.
India amended its Cinematograph Act of 1952 to add financial penalties and imprisonment for piracy offenders.
CAP has also been counseling officials of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) on how site blocking legislation could be implemented and put into practice there in 2024. Stressing the effectiveness of face-to-face meetings, CAP listed its work with government officials not only in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, but also in Taiwan and Korea.
Piracy and Artificial Intelligence
AVIA has recognized AI as a transformational force: “When Elon Musk says we are reating a world where no one will need a job, even if you discount that assertion by 99%, the change will be enormous,” said AVIA CEO Louis Boswell.
Viaccess Orca and others noted the use of AI to monitor service traffic to recognize and mitigate anomalies that indicate piracy attacks, fraudulent passwords and illegal redistribution of content. Data verification and prediction are among the applications of AI. Another is the detection of CDN leeching, where pirates use a legitimate operator’s streaming infrastructure to serve the pirate’s own users.
Additional AI-related piracy use-cases identified in the 2024 AVIA Report include:
- Detecting whether AI-generated work has infringed intellectual property by copying videos and images that are commercially exploited as NFTs or in social media
- Detecting whether or not content that is generated by AI is (to use Kudelski Group paralance) a “genuine fake”
- Identifying criminal instances of a celebrity’s likeness or image to make false endorsements of unlicensed products
- Inflicting reputational damage by using deepfake technology to make a celebrity say or do something not intended
Synamedia identified an exploit of ChatGPT that would automatically update M3U files with the remote DNS service for IPTV Smarters, a streaming player app used by pirate services
Linear TV still a factor
For those who are tempted to de-emphasize linear television in the fight against piracy and in general, “(We) don’t think this is necessary,” said Mr. Boswell in the Foreward of the report. “Both are services that deliver great content to consumers.”
Another area undergoing evolution is advertising. In 2023, AVIA also relaunched its Magic Cap piracy detection platform, which has added ad revenue data provided by White Bullet Solutions. The platform will track the ad revenue from the top 300 pirate sites in the region.
“As we have seen the growth of social media and UGC platforms (and) a huge growth in advertising on those platforms,… the engagement that consumers feel in long form content is … more valuable to advertisers. “Streaming services that are at least in part supported by advertising are under-indexing…” AVIA CEO Boswell made note of AVIA research that verified that opportunity in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
The Asia Video Industry Report 2024. Report (PDF). December 1, 2023. Curated by Chamaine Kwan, Head of Marketing and Communications. AVIA (Asia Video Industry Association)
Why it matters
AVIA’s members include broadcasters and streaming platforms, satellite transport providers, and suppliers of technologies and professional services; ranging across continental South- and Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia.
In South Asia, AVIA has been a leading advocate of site blocking against commercial pirates, lobbying national governments to implement site blocking regulations. Where blocking rules are in effect, piracy is down by about half compared with the days before blocking rules went into effect.
The annual AVIA report is a snapshot of the industry at large, with contributions from a wide array of AVIA’s members. AVIA’s leadership finds it “fascinating to see the richness and diversity from core industry issues such as the state of regulation around the region and the situation with content piracy, to research, technology, content trends and advertising.” In fact, each country in the region has a unique perspective.