Broadcaster alliance announces progress against US pirates

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The International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP), working with Nagra, announced the end of multiple piracy operations across several US states; resulting from anti-piracy operations.

IBCAP Executive Director Chris Kuelling exclaimed “Not only (were) they selling unauthorized channels, they (were) also deceiving customers. It’s like selling someone a faulty product. You pay $300 dollars or more for a set top box and then the unauthorized service gets shut down, and the consumer is left without their favorite channels and without any recourse to get their $300 dollars back.

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Cases include:

  • An award of nearly $17 million to a broadcaster by a Texas court, against the owner of of 15 domains distributing content illegally, extending to Web hosts and CDNs that they were using.
  • A $2.1 million Federal court judgement against East IPTV and an additional $600,000 against its CDN provider; plus the shutdown and transfer of its domains
  • A $23 million award against Shava and Cres IPTV, and an additional $1.6 million award against one of Shava’s retailers
  • An award of $4.4 million against a Florida retailer of illicit services that was not collectable because the retailer was forced into bankruptcy

IBCAP’s Kuelling also implored consumers “to make informed decisions and make sure that they are buying from an authorized source who will be able to deliver a reliable service.”

This was the second hit against at least one of the pirates: a February 2021 decision against East IPTV, for illegal redistribution of 17 Arabic language channels, resulted in the award of $2.7 million to DISH Network.

Why it matters

Broadcasters are just as susceptible to piracy as movie studios and TV programmers.  All three create high-value original content for distribution and for that reason, are the most concerned about the interception and illegal redistribution of their property.

According to a statement released by Nagra, IBCAP represents more than 140 television channels from Europe, Brazil, the Middle East and South Asia, IBCAP, and has been proactively monitoring and identifying unauthorized video services, collecting evidence and assisting with legal actions.

It’s puzzling that pay TV distributors continue to be less concerned; that they generally see piracy as “the problem of our content suppliers, not ours.”  But that tune is changing.  Also, broadcasters are increasingly hesitant to sign exclusive distribution agreements, as is the case with Deutsche Bundesliga and Italy’s  Lega Serie A, whose ability to protect against piracy is questioned by beIN Media.

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