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Officials from AAPA, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance, have stressed the need for swift and effective cross-border enforcement action to overcome the challenges of card sharing and illegal streaming. The comments came at a seminar on IP Sport Crime organised by OHIM (Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market) and Europol.
AAPA members Christine Maury-Panis from Viaccess-Orca and Andreas Rudloff from Sky Deutschland outlined the challenges of card sharing and illegal streaming to over 90 delegates from law enforcement agencies, including the police, prosecutors and customs bodies, as well as private sector stakeholders. It was made clear that the broadcast and online distribution of sports content forms a significant part of the sports and pay-TV businesses.
Consequently online piracy, whether in the form of card sharing or streaming, is a serious crime, damaging both sports rights holders and pay-TV operators. Case studies were discussed during a workshop co-chaired by Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of AAPA, and Marios Aristidou from the IP Crime Unit of the Cyprus Police.
Addressing delegates from Brazil, the United States, Ukraine and EU Member States, AAPA stressed the need for swift and effective cross-border enforcement action, including access to essential information, suggesting that current legal processes were cumbersome and too slow. Moreover, differences in the implementation of laws in EU Member States mean that cross-border action can be difficult. Equipping law enforcement agencies with knowledge and expertise about card sharing and illegal streaming, both infringements committed via the internet, helps to make anti-piracy activity more effective. Such expertise will also facilitate enforcement against IPR infringements of physical goods where there is growing use of the internet for distribution and illegal sales.
“AAPA welcomes the opportunity to participate in the OHIM-Europol know-how conferences,” said Cassells. “These are valuable sessions which bring together private and public stakeholders facing the same problem. This allows us to share our members’ extensive knowledge and experience with the enforcement agencies, which are the essential element in successful anti-piracy activity. AAPA is also pleased to be able to exchange information about Internet- based piracy with stakeholders who are now seeing a growing trend in Internet distribution and sales of counterfeited goods.”