“The TV industry needs to take a holistic approach to win the fight against piracy”

Prior to his participation in NexTV Series Mexico & Central America, Raúl Lucas, Regional Director North Latam of Nagra, spoke with NexTV News Latam about online piracy in Latin America and the tools to combat this problem.

-How has online piracy evolved in Latin America?

In Latin America, the downloading or viewing of pirated audiovisual content reached about 110 million Internet users in 2015, half of the total estimated regional internet audience of more than 220 million, according to a report of the British company NetNames. 50% of Internet users in Latin America watch pirated audiovisual content online.

A study of Alianza, an association that fights against piracy and of which Nagra is member, commissioned to the British company NetNames and developed in nine countries of the region, specifically Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay , Uruguay and Venezuela, also noted that the consumption of bandwidth in those countries to enjoy the content exceeded 789 petabytes, distributed in the three modalities of online piracy of audiovisual content: Illegal streaming of IPTV, Cyberlocker and Peer-to- peer.

-What are the main segments affected by online piracy?

Any content with high value will always be subject to theft – but some content has more value than others. This means that there is a special risk for live sports and hit movies. To protect content it is important to have a technology called forensic watermark, which in our case comes from one of the best watermarking companies in the world called NexGuard, which belongs to the Kudelski group; it allows rights owners to monitor piracy in real time, track the source and stop the distribution of the service to ensure content retains its value. Real-time monitoring of watermarked content can provide a valuable tool in working against piracy. Security experts can identify where the content is being filtered and thus deactivate the source that may reside in the CAS or DRM. The days of sending legal notices by mail have been left behind. Fighting and eliminating pirates requires a more complete, automated intelligence and a faster reaction than ever before. That is why the television industry needs to take a holistic approach – with watermarks, intelligence, monitoring, technical and legal actions – to finally win the fight against piracy.

But more can still be done. To effectively combat piracy, content owners must play a more proactive role. Until now, it was fairly easy to believe that distributors, not content rights holders, should take responsibility for distribution security. But today we see more sports rights holders, such as the English Premier League, the Bundesliga and the League, putting more efforts in the fight against piracy. Recently, Nagra has signed an agreement with the Bundesliga to provide anti-piracy services such as IPTV monitoring, takedown and litigation services for the 2017-18 season.

-What is the influence of the use of Kodi or Roku on piracy increase?

With decoders based on “Kodi” or “Roku” increases the imitation of the great experience of pay TV screen in the living room in a very simple and convenient way. Streaming boxes are being adapted illicitly to offer contents of which they do not have rights, thus promoting serious affectations for the creators, the fair competition and for the users. Many times users do not know that they are consuming illegal content. In short, they have paid for a subscription that seemed to be totally normal and legitimate, have bought a device that seems to pose no greater risks and promises the golden dream and do not know that behind there is a pirate business.

-What kind of technologies and solutions does Negra offer to combat this problem?

Based on 20 years of leading anti-piracy experience, Nagra has successfully executed anti-piracy programs for more than 130 customers worldwide. Our global presence provides a successful formula to stop profit losses due to piracy by offering digital content protection to some of the most successful digital companies in the world, allowing us to build an exclusive offering by combating all types of piracy that impact on the media and entertainment industry.

To effectively combat content piracy, we must take a holistic (end-to-end) approach taking into account the entire value chain and content lifecycle. That means protecting content from its production phase, its transmission media (OTT, broadcast and IPTV) and the platforms used by users. This requires solutions to mark the content (watermarking), secure it (CAS / DRM), monitor its use (monitoring and intelligence center) and legally overthrow pirate organizations (strong specialized and international legal department). In Nagra we have built this whole ecosystem of solutions to protect the life cycle of content from beginning to end.

-What other agents should intervene in the ecosystem to stop piracy?

We could say that it is a complex ecosystem and the State is also a fundamental ally in the battle against piracy. We have the example of pre-loaded Roku boxes. A few months ago, the company received a heavy blow when a Mexican court ordered local vendors to remove the players from their stores because they are linked to piracy of content subject to copyright; this legal battle continues.

Other examples in Sports are the preemptive litigation in the case of the Premier League or The Indian Cricket Premiere League (IPL). See more information on these cases at the following link: https://dtv.nagra.com/nagra-blog-how-important-role-court-rulings-battle-against-sports-piracy