Should the pirating of linear broadcasting and VOD services be combatted by legal DDOS attacks?
That certainly is the view of the Hungarian Communications Association (MKSZ), which a few days ago released a statement suggesting such a course of action. According to the association, illegal IPTV services are an emerging problem that affect the industry across the board. What is more, despite signal theft being a crime punishable by up to two years imprisonment, in practice the current regulatory environment does not allow for a fast response against piracy.
Indeed, in recent years MKSZ members – it currently has 110, with a total of 777,000 internet, cable TV and telephony RGUs – have reported over 100 illegal distributors to the authorities. Many are still under investigation but only one case has so far been closed, with the offender receiving a one-year suspended sentence and made to pay compensation.
MKSZ believes this is an unsatisfactory state of affairs and wants to set up a roundtable discussion with the participation of representatives of all domestic stakeholders, including legislators, copyright and neighbouring rights holders, ISPs and broadcasters. This would consider the deployment of it refers to as a “21st century IT weapon”, namely legal DDOS attacks, to combat piracy.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the association is at pains to stress the legality of such a course of action, which would be undertaken by a “suitable professional organisation” and “in possession of the appropriate legal authority”.
While MKSZ’s proposal is controversial, no one can deny the scale of the problem of piracy, both in Hungary and Europe as a whole. A report by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published in late 2019 showed that 3.6%, or 13.7 million, EU citizens streamed unauthorised IPTV services. Furthermore, the amount of unlawful revenue generated by copyright infringing IPTV providers in 2018 amounted to €941.7 million.
The report also showed that average single user spending on unauthorised IPTV varied significantly among EU countries. Among more affluent ones such as Finland, the Netherlands and France this stood at €6, whereas in Hungary, as well as Poland and Slovakia, it was a much lower €2.5.
For more information about Chris Dziadul, please visit https://www.chrisdziadul.com