According to Baltnews and AKTR, the State Police of Latvia and a society named ‘For Legal Content!’ have launched a joint campaign against the problem.
They note that Latvia currently has some of the most liberal legislation in Europe for the distribution of copyrighted content on the internet and TV. Direct losses from theft of copyright and related rights in Latvia amounts to €12 million a year, and this is believed to be just the tip of the iceberg.
There are two categories of piracy, namely illegal online broadcasts and the activity of illegal internet streaming providers; and the illegal connection to Russian satellite TV services, such as NTV-Mir and Tricolor TV, by cable operators. Last year, the State Police conducted 563 checks on companies and began 19 criminal proceedings, preventing the illegal supply of a signal to around 20,000 users.
All told, some 240,000 Latvians watch TV signals illegally and almost half (46.3%) have downloaded, watched or listened to internet content illegally. Furthermore, more than half (55%) of illegal users feel piracy is justified.
The joint campaign, entitled “Do not steal!”, will feature five short films in Russian and Latvian, shown on TV and online media respectively. Its aim will be to reduce the number of people accessing pirated content by 10%.