As we have seen countless times in the past, consumer demand for live sports is at an all-time high. This content makes it both a key differentiator for pay TV operators and a cornerstone for pirates. These illegal service providers offer thousands of sites providing illegal live sports content attracting millions of viewers. In addition, the eagerness of consumers to watch live sports content means that they not only require, but expect an optimal viewing experience.
The threat of illegal content redistribution really cannot be underestimated. That’s the consensus from yesterday’s IBC Conference technical paper session on cyber and content security.
So let’s look at some facts – according to Irdeto data from late last year, there were more than 2.7 million advertisements on e-commerce websites, including Amazon, eBay and Alibaba for illicit content streaming devices.
The hacking of HBO may have stolen the headlines recently, and the unauthorized script, tweets or leak of high value content is of clear concern. But the industry also continues to have revenues threatened on a daily basis from illegal premium live streams. Live sports is content that is among the most targeted, particularly top-tier football, but premium sports across the board are risk.
Take the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight…
There’s certainly hype around blockchain. Some believe that the distributed ledger and trustless consensus rules are revolutionary; with the potential to radically change existing business models. Yet, there’s also an association to a darker side. Will this innovative technology result in a proliferation of piracy?
One example of how business models could change is solutions like Livepeer.
Forensic watermarking is an essential part of any anti-piracy program. The best approach is an end-2-end solution, combining watermarking technology with proactive detection and enforcement services. Yet we’re seeing a distinct split in how watermarking is implemented. Content owners and pay-media providers sometimes see things differently.
Let’s start with the product.
Pirates know what sells in their market. While content redistribution over the internet is a major global problem, we shouldn’t overlook control word sharing. In Africa, this is still a highly profitable business for pirates. Well, until they’re raided and sentenced that is!
Setting the scene
As part of a long running investigation working with Multichoice Africa Limited (MAL), a cybercrime syndicate was identified in Egypt.
Pirates move at internet speed. Unhindered by rules and regulations they continually adapt; leaving the content owners, media industry and legal institutions to play catchup. My earlier blog highlighted 3 initiatives in the fight against piracy , and in the last month or so there are more examples of how the tide might be starting to turn against the pirates.
European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling
Recently, the ECJ ruled on a long running case between BREIN (the Dutch anti-piracy group) and Filmspeler.nl, that selling streaming devices preloaded with pirate streaming links and add-ons is illegal.
With the proliferation of different ways to access pirated content, does site blocking have any impact? That was a question I received during a recent piracy panel discussion. Let’s have a look to see if it does.
What is it?
Put simply, site blocking is a technical means by which Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can disable consumer access to target sites. This can be by using DNS based -, Url- or IP blocking capabilities.
Gone are the days where online piracy was an individual sharing illegal content with a few select “friends”. Today, online piracy is a highly sophisticated operation that often spans different countries and jurisdictions. To be effective in fighting this continually growing threat requires a team of experts.
Pre-match build up
OTT piracy remains the biggest threat facing pay-media operators and content rights holders. Illegal supply of premium content, especially live events such as soccer is driving this increase.
Recently I’ve been encouraged by 3 initiatives that are moving the fight against online piracy in the right direction. Is this the much needed start to encourage others to follow?
Online piracy, in particular, content redistribution, is a growing threat affecting content owners, broadcasters and operators. Let’s look at these welcome initiatives: