Anti piracy organisation AEPOC is entering its second decade with the challenges as great as ever. Julian Clover reports
Geneva was this week the setting for the 10th anniversary conference of AEPOC, the anti piracy organisation, whose membership includes both conditional access providers and broadcasters. The president, former Eutelsat director general Jean Grenier, has been in place for all of those ten years. He reflected on the development of public television in Europe after the Second World War and the subsequent arrival of commercial and pay-TV.
High definition television was now introducing a further success factor into a scenario that had to be properly secured. “Our experience shows a direct link between level of protection against piracy and the introduction of innovative services. 10 years ago piracy was one of the several issues to think about for the economical and technological growth – today digital theft must be the first issue to be considered in order to put the bases for the development of new efficient business models. We see how the role of adequate legal protection at international level marching at the same speed of technological innovation becomes crucial for any enterprise in the media sector.” Grenier has another reason to keep an eye on the latest technological developments’ Mme Grenier is looking for a new widescreen television set.
In ten years of AEPOC the pirates have upped their game in an attempt to match the efforts of the organisations members. The term ‘Social Piracy’ has emerged to describe the people who supposedly only use illegal cards and systems because they cannot afford a legitimate description. Grenier was adamant that he did not support even the term, underlining that there were better ways to provide social security.
There are greater concerns for AEPOC to look at in the next ten years. The near mass production of illegal devices so sophisticated that their manufacturers have begun to offer their employees pension plans, and the card sharing devices purchased to avoid paying second subscriptions. So much for Tom Cruise not missing a million or two. This is a serious business.