The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) held a public hearing this week as part of its process to identify countries that do not provide adequate protection for intellectual property, to ensure that they are included in the 2020 USTR Special 301 report to be published later this year.
A variety of media providers, sports leagues, industry organizations and national government agencies around the world have appealed to ensure that Saudi Arabia and other countries are identified in the 2020 report, as they have been in previous editions. Sports Pro and Digital TV Europe detailed the nature of the comments being submitted, earlier this week.
The following organizations submitted written comments in advance of the hearing. PDFs of the actual submitted comments are linked in red:
- Individual media companies: beIN Media Group, and Miramax.
- Sports leagues: the Premier League, the International Olympic Committee, the Sports Coalition (a group of US sports leagues that include the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League), UEFA, and La Liga.
- Industry organizations: The Asia Video Industry Association, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance
According to the day’s agenda, none of these organizations appeared in person at the hearing itself.
View all public comment documents submitted for the February 26, 2020, hearing.
View the 2019 USTR Special 301 report and related documentation
Why it matters
The beoutQ case needs little introduction to the Piracy Monitor audience. It’s critical that pressure continues to be applied against the beoutQ operation and its sponsors, from all angles; including avenues of international relations.
But to single out only beoutQ to short-change the overall scope of this problem. Commenters also identified multiple video piracy operations in China, the Netherlands, Russia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and Switzerland.
According to the comments submitted by the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA), Saudi-based pirate LiveHD7 live-streams sporting events to Web and social media sites and then takes those links down after the event is over. Another is EVDTV, which offers a streaming app via beoutQ’s pirate app store and also via the Google Play Store for Android (!); with 3,900 live TV channels as of the date of AAPA’s comment document.