IBCAP praises anti-piracy automation tools
January 27, 2023
By Colin Mann
Trade body the International Broadcaster Coalition Against Piracy (IBCAP) has reported key 2022 achievements in protecting its members’ content and removing pirate services from the US market and worldwide.
Through the continued development of its proprietary software that enables automated scanning of set-top boxes (STB) and automated sending of takedown notices, the IBCAP lab more than doubled the number of pirate streams detected and removed year-over-year. The impact of this increase was felt worldwide, as CDNs and hosting providers responding to IBCAP’s pressure removed illegal streams not only in the US but globally. Additional 2022 highlights include:
- IBCAP-coordinated lawsuits securing wide-reaching legal injunctions and judgments totalling more than $50 million (€46m).
- Shutting down major STB pirate services, including ExpatVision, TotalCableBD, Maxx IPTV, MyIndianTV, and Sasta TV.
- Forcing large volume retailers/distributors, such as Atlas Electronics in Detroit, Texas Communications in Houston, and Polexport in Chicago, to cease selling pirate services.
- Disabling hundreds of major illegal websites and coordinating domain name shutdowns, including Myindian.tv, istar-hd.com, superarabiptv.com, and iptvarab.com.
- Increasing sports-related event takedowns by 80 per cent year-over-year.
- Continued membership expansion, including the addition of BBC Studios, The E.W. Scripps Company and others.
IBCAP, in conjunction with content protection specialist NAGRA, delivered automation for both STB scanning and the associated takedown process, with a lab that monitors more than 250 STB services. IBCAP’s state-of-the-art lab also increased the breadth of its coverage from not only STBs and pirate websites but also apps, Kodi, online retailers such as Amazon, and leading social media outlets, such as Facebook and Telegram.
Complementing the expansion of IBCAP’s team of expert analysts in 2022, the Coalition’s continued investment in automation has increased the speed and volume of piracy detected, streamlined data collection and analysis, and optimised the takedown notice process. This automation is a significant benefit to IBCAP members and has decreased the time to complete many monitoring and takedown operations by a factor of 10.
In addition, IBCAP’s enforcement of injunctions and other persistent takedown efforts in 2022 often resulted in the removal of pirated content worldwide, not just in the US market. This collateral benefit makes membership in IBCAP even more valuable for content owners with a global presence.
“Since joining IBCAP early in 2022, we have seen popular pirate services carrying BBC Studios content removed not only from the US market but also globally, which was an unexpected benefit of membership,” said Diane Hamer, Head of Business and Legal Affairs, Content and Brand Protection at BBC Studios. “In addition, we now have the IBCAP lab as a technical resource to provide BBC Studios with the necessary evidence when we commence a legal action or make a referral to the police or other authorities. This is a useful tool that we do not otherwise have in-house, and we have been very pleased with IBCAP’s responsiveness to our specific technical requests.”
“A comprehensive and far-reaching anti-piracy strategy is fundamental for the longevity of the sports industry. As a leading rights-owner, incorporating IBCAP’s broad scope of protection has proven to be a highly effective addition to our anti-piracy strategy – which has helped us to be a stronger leader and advocate in the industry,” said Cameron Andrews, Legal Director Anti-Piracy, beIN Media Group. “The automated scanning tools IBCAP has developed not only increases the volume of piracy detected but also significantly enhances the speed and efficiency of the takedown process. Additionally, the IBCAP lab has often provided us with intelligence and data that we didn’t otherwise have and this has proven to be an important external resource for our anti-piracy team.”
“We are very pleased with our 2022 results and look forward to continuing our momentum and effectiveness in 2023,” said Chris Kuelling, executive director of IBCAP. “With our success in shutting down STB pirate-delivered content, we are seeing operators of pirate services transition to online distribution channels, such as websites, apps and social media, and thus we are also very focused in those areas. By continuing to enhance automation within our processes, IBCAP can scale cost-effectively and efficiently, enabling our team to have the greatest impact for our members.”