EPL anti-piracy campaign returns in Malaysia
October 4, 2022
By Colin Mann
Premier League players from clubs including Liverpool and Manchester City are teaming up to raise awareness of the dangers of illegal streaming in Malaysia, as part of the League’s ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign.
The campaign returns for a third year in Malaysia and this season features Premier League stars including Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold, Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan, Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy and Leeds United’s Jack Harrison.
They appear in a series of videos which will feature across broadcast and digital channels to raise awareness of the security risks of viewing Premier League football on illegal websites and devices, as well as the disrupted viewing experience presented by illegal streaming.
Fans who watch on unauthorised websites or streaming devices could potentially be at risk of their bank accounts being hacked, identity theft, or their devices being locked for ransom. Their viewing experience is also likely to be disrupted by sub-optimal video quality, delays and numerous pop-up ads.
Research by industry experts shows anyone streaming illegally runs a high risk of exposing themselves to malicious malware or ransomware and increasing their chances of becoming victims of cybercrimes.
Professor Paul Watters, a leading cybersecurity consultant and researcher and Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University, Australia said: ”In my most recent study in Asia, I found numerous examples of consumers who have been negatively affected by malware and ransomware as a result of visiting pirate sites. This can lead to your data being lost or being forced to pay a ransom to recover your data.
“On average, you have a 57 per cent chance of downloading a piracy app with inbuilt malware. My study also shows that the typical time for a device to be compromised is just 43 seconds.
“Operators of pirate sites are only interested in making illicit cash – they offer piracy as bait, and when you take that bait, your device can become the source of infections for you, your family or your workplace.
“Identity theft leads to identity fraud. Once someone has stolen enough information about you, they can get passports, driver’s licences, bank accounts and loans all taken out in your name. It can take many years to recover your identity, and sometimes the losses are very significant.”
The Premier League also works closely with local authorities to bring criminal action against website operators and suppliers of illicit streaming devices across the region.
Premier League General Counsel Kevin Plumb said: “We know a minority of Premier League fans in Malaysia are still putting themselves at risk of cybersecurity invasions and identity theft by streaming matches on illegal websites. Our message is that it isn’t worth taking this risk because we know these sites contain malicious content which can expose people to numerous issues. If you stream pirated content, you are more likely than not to get malware on your device.
“As part of our ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign in Malaysia and other Asia-Pacific countries we are working with our partners and local authorities to protect fans against these very real threats. We encourage those who are still choosing to watch Premier League football through illegal streams to instead enjoy Premier League matches in the best and safest way through our official broadcast partners.
“Educating football fans on the dangers of viewing illegal content is a key part of our anti-piracy programme. Alongside this, we are taking firm action by blocking websites, prosecuting sellers of illegal streaming devices, and disrupting streams to make it harder to access these high-risk websites.”
As part of the ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign last season, the Premier League commissioned research by White Bullet Solutions, which showed that almost half (44 per cent) of the most popular pirate websites in Malaysia for illegally watching Premier League content carried advertisements, containing either fraud, malware, adult or gambling content, that put consumers at real risk of being victims of online scams, data theft and fraud.
In Malaysia, the Premier League works in collaboration with local broadcast partner Astro on the ‘Boot Out Piracy’ campaign.
Nicholas John, Astro’s Head of Sports said: “As the official broadcaster of the Premier League in Malaysia, Astro offers the best and the most premium viewing experience for all 380 matches in HD and selected matches in 4K UHD as well as money-can’t-buy-experiences. Piracy deeply hurts our ability to keep serving sports fans and commercial enterprises. We are committed in working closely with the authorities, industry players and content partners in battling piracy. We are pleased to collaborate with the Premier League in the Boot Out Piracy campaign in educating sports fans of the dangers of illegal streaming, and we would like to urge all Malaysians and commercial enterprises to only watch live sports on legal and high-quality platforms.”
“We welcome the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022, which sees the introduction of new streaming and linking-related offences including a law against those providing or sharing access to an online location containing pirated works. Anyone found guilty can be fined up to RM200,000, be imprisoned up to 20 years, or both.”
The campaign will run from October 3rd until March 11th and will be featured across broadcast channels, social media, websites and YouTube in Malaysia, as well as Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Thailand.
Advertising for the campaign was developed by creative agency DDB Worldwide.