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Alianza tackles LatAm pay-TV piracy

Alianza Contra la Piratería de Televisión Paga (Alianza), the anti-piracy association of the leading companies in the Latin American pay-TV industry, has revealed details of what it says is a complete study to date of on-line video piracy in South America. The report was prepared by UK consulting group NetNames.

The study covers nine countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela) and analyses Internet usage data in the countries during a single month, with a focus on the three principal audiovisual piracy ecosystems:

  • Cyberlockers: file hosting services using one or more servers to distribute video to persons given access to the servers. Examples include Uptobox and Uploaded.net.
  • Peer-to-Peer: a computer network in which each computer acts as a server for other computers, allowing shared access to files without need for a central server. Examples include BitTorrent, Ares, Pirate Bay and Cuevana.
  • Illegal IPTV Streaming: Services featuring live TV content such as sporting events, premium content channels and popular broadcast channels that are distributed without authorisation. Examples include Roja Directa.

The study reveals important findings and shows the behaviours of the infringing users and the different methods used to illegally capture and distribute audiovisual content online.

This study, the first of its kind in South America, quantifies the significant amount of online video piracy specifically in South America.

Of the approximately 222.3 million Internet users in South America, nearly 50 per cent, or 110 million, accessed a site that distributed pirated audiovisual content by means of either a cyberlocker, peer-to-peer network or illegal IPTV streaming site.

The number of unique users1 of each of the three pirate ecosystems during a single month period is:

  • Cyberlockers: 62.7 million unique users, representing 28.2 per cent of all South American Internet users Peer-to-Peer: 46.1 million unique users, representing 20.7 per cent of all South American Internet users
  • Illegal IPTV Streaming: 8.8 million unique users, representing 4 per cent of all South American Internet users

In a further finding, NetNames has analysed the total amount of infringing bandwidth used in South America and found that 789 petabytes (PBs) of bandwidth usage in Latin America were attributable to users of cyberlockers, peer-to-peer video and illegal IPTV, representing an estimated 1.5 billion hours of viewing annually.

  • Cyberlockers: 442 million PBs, or approximately 632 million hours annually (14 hours per cyberlocker user)
  • Peer-to-Peer: 265 million PBs, or approximately 379 million hours annually (8 hours per peer-to-peer user)
  • Illegal IPTV Streaming: 82 million PBs, or approximately 366 million hours annually (29 hours per user).

“Online piracy represents a significant threat to the protection of intellectual property rights. We all know it exists, but this study is the first time that the industry in South America has made an effort to describe and quantify the threat. This is the first step necessary to raise awareness of the problem. It will enable Alianza members to educate others about the problem and develop strategies to combat this form of piracy. Audiences in South America deserve to enjoy the great variety of audiovisual content that is available for consumption, both in traditional formats and online, but adequate protection of intellectual property has to be absolute,” declared Michael Hartman, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of DirecTV Latin America.

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