BBC Studios joins IBCAP to boost piracy protection in the US

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BBC Studios, representing the BBC Group, is joining the International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP), which will help protect BBC programming from piracy in the United States, including BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, BBC World News, CBBC and CBeebies.

BBC Studios’ branded programming is distributed in the US through Amazon Prime, Netflix, Tubi and Apple TV as well as through pay TV services.  Its Britbox service is a joint venture with the UK’s ITV, while BBC America is a joint venture with AMC Networks.  In addition to the channels noted above, the BBC produces programs that are highly popular in the US, including Sherlock, Doctor Who, Top Gear and a multitude of award-winning documentaries.

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Proven track record

IBCAP runs an anti-piracy lab that monitors pirate Web sites, social media platforms, apps, and more than 250 pirate streaming devices.   This has helped IBCAP produce evidence of pirate activity that’s used in legal cases, helping IBCAP members win judgments against pirates in US courts.

IBCAP has been quite effective.  Anti-piracy wins announced by IBCAP just during Q4 of 2021 alone included a $31M judgment against ChitramTV for distributing South Asian programming, a $27M judgment against two Brooklyn-based pirates selling illegal services bundled with illicit set-top boxes, a $7M judgment against Universe TV for selling an illegal streaming service; plus a $24M judgment in against iStar in September for selling Arabic programming.  None of them had the rights to do so.

Read the IBCAP press release

Why it matters

“Television piracy causes financial harm to the British creative industry, depriving UK producers and broadcasters of income for future investment,” said Diane Hamer, Head of Business & Legal Affairs Content and Brand Protection for BBC Studios. “As BBC Studios continues to distribute valuable content in the U.S. and around the world, to return value to its parent company, the British Broadcasting Corporation, it will work with IBCAP to help monitor for infringement and stand as the initial bulwark against piracy. The relationship between IBCAP and BBC Studios enables both parties to collect evidence, share information, enhance detection, and implement comprehensive and coordinated strategies to disrupt piracy in the U.S.”

“Leveraging our success to date, IBCAP continues to expand its membership by offering the benefits of our world-class anti-piracy lab and highly successful strategies against pirate services that have significantly impacted our members’ business,” said Chris Kuelling, Executive Director of IBCAP. “Acting as a coalition, rather than individually, has proven to be not only cost effective, but also highly successful in reducing piracy of our members’ content. We welcome BBC Studios as our newest member and are thrilled to now have them as part of our coalition.”

Both Ms Hamer and Mr Kuelling have shared their views for articles published by Piracy Monitor.  Each of them spoke at the 2021 Video Security Summit, which was conducted by Piracy Monitor and nScreenMedia in October.

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