When it comes to piracy, the problems faced in Central and Eastern Europe are very similar to those in other parts of the continent.
Moreover, according to Mark Mulready, VP – Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto, no countries in the region stand out. Indeed, the problem exists across the board, with a lot of hosting taking place and sport and movies being the main drivers.
Mulready, who was speaking to Broadband TV News at this week’s NEM in Dubrovnik, said that piracy was seen on web-based streaming sites and web video sites, as well as illicit streaming devices. Streaming nets are pulling down satellite feeds, aggregating content and using ISP and CDN infrastructure to distribute it wholesale, generating significant funds in the process.
Mulready added that Irdeto has been involved in law enforcement, looking at assets. He also spoke very highly of the Cybercrime Unit of the Bulgarian Police, whose actions in shutting down a large-scale illegal IPTV streaming business in January were “fantastic”.
Piracy is a particular problem when it comes to the Champions League, with Irdeto having detected 5,100 unique illegal streams redistributing games over the internet during this year’s knock out stages.
It is now also closely monitoring and protecting the rights to the World Cup, which kicked off in Russia this week.
Speaking to other sources, Broadband TV News believes that piracy could be a significant problem with the World Cup. One particular pirate network has in fact publicly stated that it will provide coverage of the entire competition.
Mulready said that watermarking is now a battleground and will become increasingly important. Indeed, it will in due course be mandatory in the case of sports rights.
As for legal aspects, the main problem in the CEE region is that there is no uniformity in the law. In fact, it is 5-10 years behind the problem.
In Mulready’s view, the EU should now mandate a specific time to remove pirated content.
It is also important to address the issue of anonymity on the internet, as at present anyone can start a pirate network. Pirates have no restrictions and share a lot of content between different countries. There is therefore a need for law enforcement to step in.
Despite these problems, Mulready was keen to point out that it is not all gloom and doom. There have been some good legal developments and many organisations are collaborating to address the problem of piracy.
This should be done legally, technologically and through education, in the latter case as early as children in school.