Thursday, June 17, 2010

Piracy - a worked example


With quite a bit of discussion taking place in respect of digital piracy it seemed worthwhile to share some actual data in respect of a live boxing event.
The example middle weight title bout took place in Canada at @3am UK time last Saturday and there were 2 TV broadcast partners and a worldwide internet broadcast partner. All these platforms are distributing on a subscription basis.
Using some search technology 10 illegal "free to air" distribution platforms were located - 8 of which were live and 2 for covering delayed highlights. These platforms were hosted in the USA, Sweden and the Netherlands and a couple of the platforms had sponsorship deals in place with known betting brands. Calculations suggest that the illegal online audience was about 5000 times greater than the legal online audience.
There are a number of "urban myths" surrounding the issue of copyright law (mainly because in England & Wales lawyers are not required to study or pass any intellectual property law exams) but under Article 8 of the WIPO Copyright Treaty which has been signed up to by all the countries above provides an exclusive right of communication to the public of their works - which has clearly been breached.
Given the scale of this, which was frankly a surprise to me in terms of extent, most content owners seem to be fiddling while Rome burns.