A request by the German political party the FDP in the Bundestag in October 2018 shows how important the issue of illegal distribution of TV content via the Internet (IPTV) really is.
Obviously, the FDP based their request on a study carried out by the Vaunet association from August 2018. The association’s study examined the usage behaviour of consumers and tried to quantify the economic damage. According to the study, this amounted to € 700 million for Germany alone.
However, the provider’s view is missing in the analysis. Illegal services are not isolated. They require many intermediaries to function. These intermediaries play an important, if not decisive, role in solving the problem. A key role is played in particular by data centres from which illegal IPTV streams are „sent“ into the world wide web. France – La Grande Nation when it comes to illegal IPTV weiterlesen →
For this ad hoc study, FDS File Defense Service and the IVD took a closer look at the intermediaries of the illegal IPTV streams. For this purpose, 25 relevant websites were examined. The sites regularly provide playlists in the form of M3U files (station and channel lists).
Such channel lists bring together a channel of IPTV streams and a receiver in a very convenient way. The M3U file is simply loaded into a program and the customer can see the channel lists and gets access to the channels in his program.
It becomes even more convenient with set-top boxes. Very often these are so-called KODI boxes, which then “conjure” the content on the TV screen.
The “free of charge” business model is used by such websites to distribute M3U files in order to lure in customers. Normally, M3U files have a very short lifetime (12 to 24 hours). Therefore, the user has to renew them permanently to use the free services. To avoid this hassle customers can simply pay a subscription fee. These illegal subscriptions cost only a fraction of the price of legal offers. For a mere € 10 or less a month there are hundreds of channels, including many Pay-TV channels.
This is not surprising because the distributors do not have any procurement costs for the content they market.
This study is based on approximately 45,000 transmitter and channel lists which are distributed by 25 web pages. These lists led to 211,000 analyzable illegal IPTV streams which were subsequently analyzed by origin (the data centre). In addition, the data home of the M3U Files distributing websites were examined. In the case of data centres spread over several countries, the headquarters of the main company was taken as the country of origin. IPTV – Data centres for illegal streaming services weiterlesen →
The streaming platform is exploiting its community for its own ends in the controversy over copyright in Europe and hasn’t shied away from misrepresenting the truth.
The controversy surrounding European copyright reform has entered a new phase following the release of an open letter and a video addressed to the YouTube community. On 22 October 2018, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki addressed the operators of successful YouTube channels (“creators”) in a blog post and warned them that the implementation of Article 13 would result in numerous smaller channels being shut down and in important content becoming unavailable to viewers in Europe. YouTube’s new media order weiterlesen →
On 12 September 2018, the EU Parliament voted on the proposed Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. The entire summer of 2018 was characterized by a gigantic lobbying assault as the directive’s opponents resorted to the means of asymmetrical lobbying and bombarded EU parliamentarians with avalanches of emails and floods of tweets in a manner resembling the handiwork of a grassroots movement.
Immediately after losing the September vote, the directive’s opponents marshaled their forces to sketch out how they could influence the trilogue process of upcoming negotiations on the legislation between the Council of the European Union (the member states), the EU Commission and the EU Parliament.
“It is coming from Google”? On 21 September 2018, the fifth “Das ist Netzpolitik!” [“This is net politics!”] conference took place in Berlin. One of the speakers was Julia Reda, the sole representative of the Pirate Party in the EU parliament. At the conference – addressing her supporters and requesting that they write to EU parliamentarians – she said:
The EU Copyright Directive, which has now been adopted by the EU Parliament, has been the subject of controversy, including e-mail bombardments of members of the European Parliament. The WebSchauder blog has reported and revealed who is behind the alleged citizens‘ protest.
This current campaign against the directive is similar to the dispute over the introduction of legal rules on net neutrality. Danish consultant John Strand produced an excellent study on this subject back in 2016 („The Moment of Truth – A Portrait of the Fight For Hard Net Neutrality Regulation by Save the Internet and Other Internet Activists“). Among other things, the study investigates the economic backgrounds of the participants and also describes campaigns carried out in the USA and India.
This article presents the similarities and differences between these alleged civil society campaigns.
Last weekend, several organizations called for a „Day of Action“ with demonstrations throughout Europe against the planned EU Copyright Directive. Among the supporters of the events were the Pirate Party, the Left, the Greens and the network association Load e.V. (FDP).
In any case the cards weren’t put on the table. Again.
The „Day of Action“ in Germany
The first event was Mainz on Saturday, August 25, 2018, where prominent members of the Bundestag such as Tabea Rösner (Die Grünen) and Manuel Höferlin (FDP) performed.
Nevertheless, they only spoke in front of about 30 participants.
While the poor attendance at the event in Mainz was notable – it was far from the worst showing of the day for the declared opposition to the copyright directive. Astroturf instead of grass roots: When clicktivism meets hard reality weiterlesen →
As mentioned in a previous article, saveyourinternet.eu’s campaign was primarily responsible for the flooding of MEPs‘ mailboxes with ready-made e-mails their Twitter accounts with automated tweets and their phones with switched phone calls including call guidelines.
The New Testament narrates numerous miracles attributed to Jesus Christ. One of them is the feeding of the multitude: Jesus is described as having multiplied a few loaves and fish so that five thousand people could eat and were satisfied.
The debate over the new EU Copyright Directive towards the end of June 2018 was characterized by a similarly remarkable form of multiplication. But what was being multiplied in this case was not bread or fish, but protest – or rather the appearance of protest.
To begin at the beginning … In September 2016, EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger put forward proposals for a Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.
Time passed, and Oettinger moved on to a new role within the Commission, but the wheels of bureaucracy continued to churn until the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) was due to vote on the proposed directive.
In the run-up to the vote, observers may have wryly recalled the dictum of German parliamentarian Peter Struck that no bill ever exits parliament in the form it enters it. The directive’s rapporteur Axel Voss (CDU/EPP) had the pleasure of steering a process in which numerous changes and additions to the text were negotiated before it was formally adopted by the JURI Committee and Voss was finally given a mandate to proceed to negotiations with the EU member states.
Google appears to still be blissfully oblivious to its intentional or unintentional (but readily discernible) support for piracy websites. Google supports pirates in a variety of ways, and I will explore a few of them here.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has already been critical of Google’s inaction on piracy for years. The first major problem is the prominent visibility of piracy URLs in Google’s search results. Following the classic logic that the best place to hide a body is surely on the second page of search results, the hope of the filmmakers has been that rank and file consumers, at least, might refrain from using rights-infringing sites when they no longer feature in the first few hits on search.
Pure self-interest could be expected to lead Google to the same conclusion: Google sells movies itself in its Google Play store. With every additional illegal option displayed prominently in search results, Google’s own chances of making a sale to an interested consumer recede. Against this background, let’s now see what happens when we run a search on Google for the movie “Black Panther.”
Volker Rieck is managing director of the content protection service provider FDS File Defense Service, which works for numerous rights owners. The company also prepares studies on piracy and supports law enforcement companies with the data it collects. Volker Rieck blogs regularly on Webschauder and from time to time on the US blog The Trichordist on various aspects of unregulated content distribution. His articles also appear on Tarnkappe.info.
Every year in January, the office of the United States Trade Representive (USTR) publishes a list of the worst offenders on the Internet for the past year. This concerns both haptic goods, i. e. counterfeits, replicas, etc. and infringements of intellectual property rights in the form of the non-regulated distribution of films, books, music, software, apps, etc.
The list includes names like the Chinese e-commerce giants Alibaba and Taobao, but also websites like Movie4k, Libgen, The Pirate Bay or Openload.
Contributors to the list include associations such as the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) on behalf of the US film industry or the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on behalf of the US music industry.
According to a German study, 22.3% of all ads on piracy sites in July 2016 were ads for gambling. Gambling ads are normally pop-ups or pop-unders and are more expensive than “normal” ads. So, they account for much more than a quarter of the ad income for piracy sites.
After publishing this study in September 2016, the Gambling companies and their German association were informed of the gambling companies support to piracy sites.
A recent study checked if something had changed between October and December 2016. This research used a “Pro”-registration account on Similiarweb.com, which shows you the Top 5 of advertising branches, advertising companies and ad networks on most internet sites for free. Gambling industry still supporting piracy weiterlesen →