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How anti-piracy tech tackles copyright infringements in football

September 22, 2022

Anti-piracy solutions are a must as copyright infringements threaten Qatar 2022 World Cup broadcasts. But how does this work?

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With Qatar 2022 just around the corner, you can almost hear the horns of celebration and the murmur of goal cries that will paralyze the world for almost a month, in what is without doubt the main sporting event of the year. Right across the globe football fans are preparing to tune in, with a total of 64 games that make up the World Cup. In some countries they are accessible by open signal, however, in others, payment platforms must be used to access the content. It is here where copyright infringements start, and anti-piracy measures must begin.

It is no secret that live sports content, especially football, is one of the most prone to intellectual property infringements. In a report published by the consulting firm Ether City called "Dimension and Impact of Online Piracy of Audio-visual Content in Latin America", 35% of the links related to searches for live events provided access to illegal content which gives us some idea as to the size of the market. 


Copyright infringements throughout social networks

Signal distribution is the key. Such intellectual property infringements are not only found on webpages. Social networks are also utilized to serve as streaming platforms for this illicit content.

In the same Ether City study, 33% of live event searches are searching for illegal content. But why are we seeing this behaviour?

It is simple to create a user profile on social networks, in fact it only requires an email address, so we can find an endless number of illegal users in social networks with no limits or restrictions. The ease in which users can then share this content at speed to audiences across the globe is truly mind blowing.

Piracy is so well organized that they have multiple operators in each social network, so when a transmission is taken down, they already have almost immediate support to ensure that the signal is reinstated. Interruptions usually last no more than 3-minutes unless anti-piracy protectionis in place to tackle the intellectual property infringement.

These accounts are usually hidden and can only be detected once they are streaming illicit content. When they are not illegally broadcasting content, they remain in the shadows.


Copyright infringements are hidden

There are many methods used by hackers to bypass automatic and manual anti-piracy security checks that are used in virtually every league in the world.

Inverted signals, with color filters or retransmissions without audio are perhaps the most common ways to avoid detection from anti-piracy technology. However, we can find other copyright infringements that are more creative, such as placing a mirror that reflects the television signal or making a real game look as though it were a videogame to avoid detection.


Constant content promotion

An illegal signal does not simply appear when the referee's whistle is blown, the work starts up to 48-hours before the game kicks off. Hackers take advantage of every available space throughout social networks or message distribution channels such as WhatsApp, Discord or Telegram to send their “community” all the information required to gain illegal access to the live stream.

From our live content protection service, we have determined that eliminating these copyright infringements in the lead up to the event can reduce the number of users who can access and consume illegal content by up to 30%, which is beneficial for rights owners in the sense that it protects the value of content.

For Ether City, 15% of illicit viewers can become paying subscribers to retransmission platforms, which would represent an additional profit of $5.28 billion in Latin America alone.


Anti-piracy measures to stop intellectual property infringements must begin now

Illegal streaming will skyrocket during the months of November and December thanks to Qatar 2022. To minimize the damage caused to the value of live content and broadcasting agreements, anti-piracy measures must be put in place now to tackle impending copyright infringements.

Reducing the number of offending profiles on social networks, cutting off promotion and access channels, and most importantly of all, learning from the detected intellectual property infringements, are the keys to arriving in Qatar with the correct preparation.


Anti-piracy solutions at your fingertips

Are you a content owner or live broadcaster? Do you know if you´re losing revenue due to intellectual property infringements of your digital content online?

The only way to be sure if your live or VOD content is being illegally shared online is by monitoring the various digital channels in search of copyright infringements. These include Google search results, social networks, streaming, and direct download (DDL) sites, user generated content (UGCs), and online content sharing service providers (OCSSPs). Gain full visibility of the intellectual property infringements which exist and emerge throughout peak stages of your content lifecycle in real-time. 

Our anti-piracy protection solutions utilize the latest in AI and machine learning technology combined with our expert team of live protection analysts. We protect key stages of the content lifecycle, acting quickly and efficiently to remove copyright infringements and safeguard your investments. We provide customized solutions to enhance your anti-piracy protection strategy.

Author: Juan Carlos Fernandez - Smart Protection

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