European Commission recognizes urgency to take down pirated live sports

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On May 19, European Commission adopted a statement of recommendations developed by Parliament members that recognizes the piracy of live sports streaming, and the need to stop illegal online redistribution quickly upon detection.

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It proposes that illegal streams be disbled by hosting platforms within 30 minutes of being alerted by a rights-holder or a certified agent, without making legal content inaccessible by accident.

The statement recognizes that “injunction procedures are relatively long and usually come into effect after the broadcast has ended.” and to “assess the impact and appropriateness of introducing injunction procedures aimed at allowing real-time disabling of access to, or removal of, illegal online live sports event content, based on the model of “live” blocking orders and “dynamic injunctions.”

Read the recommendation text, adopted by the European Commission

Read the European Commission press release

Why it matters

Regulators can be excused for recommending a more careful framing of the issues and their potential remedies following an impact assessment, rather than immediately setting forth edicts.

The EU must strike a balance between public interest, the interests of rights-holders, the unqual access to distribution-enabling and anti-piracy technologies from provider to provider and from country to country, cross-border enforcement, and the need to harmonize with regulations that already exist for some individual EU states – just to name a few.

This announcement fits the broader trend by governments in the United States, where piracy has become a felony; in Indonesia and Malaysia, where site blocking laws have reduced piracy by half; to get actively involved in anti-piracy initiatives in support of upholding copyright law.

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