Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Liverpool v Swansea League Cup: 220,000 pirate viewers

KLipcorp's Sentinel system was monitoring piracy levels yesterday in respect of the League Cup and we tracked 220,000 unique visitors across across the 15 prioritised pirate sites. We estimate that 60% of this audience is in the UK.

The biggest individual site delivered 27,000 uniques and the most popular channel for re-transmission was BeInSport USA. Pictures were uninterrupted and in good quality.

Some commentators suggest that piracy exists primarily to fill gaps in the distribution market and in this case that argument would be supported - Sky Sports elected to show the Chelsea v Shrewsbury fixture instead.

In reality the traditional model where distribution can be controlled is over - where licensed distribution does not meet market demands piracy will emerge to attempt to fill the gap.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Practical implications of Svensson & Bestwater re IP piracy

The questions of exactly where the lines are drawn in respect of copyright infringement in the digital age have never been easy to answer. The rapid pace of technological change makes legislation put together even 10 years ago look very dated.

However the 2 judgements from the European Court of Justice in Svensson (C-466/12) and Bestwater (C-348/13) do clarify the position a bit - and not to the benefit of the content producers and rights holders. [please note the full judgment in Bestwater has not been released yet so comments below are subject to that]

In Svensson it was suggested that linking via hyperlink without permission was not a copyright infringement as on the facts of that case there was no communication to a new public.

However an important clarification;

"On the other hand, where a clickable link makes it possible for users of the site on which that link appears to circumvent restrictions put in place by the site on which the protected work appears in order to restrict public access to that work to the latter site’s subscribers only, and the link accordingly constitutes an intervention without which those users would not be able to access the works transmitted, all those users must be deemed to be a new public, which was not taken into account by the copyright holders when they authorised the initial communication, and accordingly the holders’ authorisation is required for such a communication to the public. This is the case, in particular, where the work is no longer available to the public on the site on which it was initially communicated or where it is henceforth available on that site only to a restricted public, while being accessible on another Internet site without the copyright holders’ authorisation."

This appeared to suggest that the copyright holder needed to have authorised the publication which is being linked to. Absent that an infringement would have occurred.

In Bestwater the embedded item was an unauthorised item on YouTube that was then embedded without permission. An example of this type of content could be viewed here for example (the automated detection systems are clearly on vacation).

Based on the above statement from Svensson it might have been expected that since the initial publication was not authorised then its subsequent hyperlinking / embedding etc was not either and therefore constituted a communication to the public.

However - the information released so far suggests re the Bestwater judgment indicates that once the content is "out there" on the web then subsequent linking or embedding represents no further infringement as there is no new communication to the public. The draft translation reads;

“The embedding in a website of a protected work which is publicly accessible on another website by means of a link using the framing technology … does not by itself constitute communication to the public within the meaning of [the EU Copyright directive] to the extent that the relevant work is neither communicated to a new public nor by using a specific technical means different from that used for the original communication,” (courtesy: TorrentFreak)

In the fairly theoretical world of IP law this may seem perfectly logical. However at KLipcorp we are constantly monitoring the piracy landscape and the fact is that the lion's share of all live piracy is in fact embedded links from other sources that are already "out there" .

The permission of the rights holder surely has a part to play here ? If is does not then effective management of IP piracy has become more difficult as it will be necessary to show who first published the content as those who have merely linked to it or embedded it are not in breach. In the digital age this is a distinction without a difference.  






 

Monday, October 27, 2014

El Clasico delivers 1.1 million unique viewers to top 15 pirate sites

In a packed weekend of sporting action the KLipcorp Sentinel systems monitored the following audience levels (unique viewers)  across the top 15 pirate sites

1. 3pm EPL fixtures: 550,000
2. El Clasico: 1.1 million (a single pirate site / network peaked at 170,000)
3. UFC: 250,000
4. WWE: 130,000




Friday, October 24, 2014

Up The Amazon Without A Profit

Amazon has just posted some eyewateringly bad results, adding yet more heavy losses onto their shareholders. And this is despite their alleged price gouging and tax avoidance.

Essentially, Amazon is an indulgent money pit for Jeff Bezos' ego and, unlike the other leading dot com survivors, it has failed to reward those who have patiently backed it for nearly two decades.

In the meantime, the company has fostered many good things, such as a long tail of specialist retailers a pioneering cloud infrastructure, and has had  a particular effect on British retailers, as the woes of that industry show (The effect is probably greater in bottom line terms than the challenge of the German discounters).

But it is investments in areas like cloud computing, content services and devices like the Kindle and Fire which I suspect are the hidden sinkholes (as Google had to admit this week as it fell short of targets).

The race to the bottom in cloud computing must be painful, and as more and more experienced players park their tanks on Amazon's lawn, you have to wonder how long the patience of their shareholders will hold out.

But the real issue, I believe, is that Amazon does not know what business it is in. Is it a retailer ? A logistics company ? A content or entertainment company, or is it a technology company ? Is it selling picks and shovels, or digging for gold?

The company needs a good strategic review.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

West Brom v Man U - single pirate site gets over 60,000 viewers

The recent 2-2 draw was a big "ratings winner" for one of the top pirate sites monitored by the KLipcorp Sentinel service.

Our systems showed over 60,000 viewers on the identified site at any one time with cumulative figures likely to be well in excess of that number.

Putting this into context the attendance at the game was 26,000 so a single pirate website was generating over double the attendance.

Cumulative viewing figures for that fixture across the 15 Sentinel sites was an estimated 530,000 unique visitors.

Overall weekly pirate viewing figures across the 15 sentinel sites have shown a 12% increase over the week reaching 47 million unique viewers and generating 188 million impressions. 


Friday, October 17, 2014

Top 15 sports pirate sites hit 45.2 million unique visitors this week

The KLipcorp IP Sentinel system continues to deliver some very interesting data and this week the combined unique visitors from the Top 15 sports pirate sites hit 45.2 million.

To set this in some kind of context we thought it might be interesting to compare the Alexa rankings of some of the top pirate sites (the lower the ranking the more popular the site - Google is frequently number 1). SkySports.com is used as a reference point.

SkySports.com : 952


Pirate 1 : 1937

Pirate 2 : 3722

Pirate 3 : 6456

The top 15 pirate sites combined generate more unique visitors than SkySports.com.


The audeince growth rates of some of the pirates is astonishing:

Pirate 3 ranking in July 2014: 3.4 million

Pirate 3 ranking in October 2014 : 6456

This very rapid growth is illustrated on the chart below from Alexa;


 For further infromation please contact peter@klipcorp.com.
 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Competition Heats Up For Netflix

Netflix and BSkyB announced their results on the same day, and it seems that the latter business is in ruder health than the former.

The British broadcaster's strategy of launching everywhere premium services seems to have been astonishingly successful, especially considering how creaky its core sports portfolio now is (last night the only live sports on any of the five Sky Sports channels was greyhound racing...).

Meanwhile, the news that HBO is to launch its own OTT service must be of great concern to Netflix (although it will be interesting to see how this pans out in territories like the UK where Sky has a buy out with HBO for its content - it remains to be seen if the HBO plans are domestic to the US only for now).

Meanwhile Blinkbox is up for sale and Amazon seems to be making scant inroads with its service. So, all eyes on Cupertino this afternoon to see if Apple will make any announcements about its Apple TV service.