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What is the Anti-Piracy Practice to Choose?

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While Ukraine is “fighting” for the first position in the list of pirate countries, the piracy remains an actual problem all over the world, as no one managed defeating illegal content distribution totally. Even in the USA, which is the most successful in anti-piracy campaign, 6% of the market keeps on illegal. Young people represent the major part of the audience of illegal resources: 18-24 years: 20%, 25-34 years: 10%. There are compiled ratings of the most popular pirate sites, and even announced a Pirate Oscar, the award for the most popular film on illegal resources. And the same Netflix uses pirate sites to study the demand, as stated by the company’s CEO Reed Hastings.

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The exact number of pirates and their audience in Ukraine can not be calculated for obvious reasons. According to estimates of the Media Group Ukraine, over 40% of subscribers or 5 million households have access to pirated TV broadcasts. There exist between 1 600 and 3 600 illegal providers. More than 2.5 million households have access to illegal TV viewing via satellite.

The most popular anti-piracy practice is to block sites. But this is not so effective, as there appear immediately “mirror sites”. The case of blocking The Pirate Bay exemplifies this situation: just after the closure of that well-known resource, there appeared a lot of similar ones with similar names. Generally, this practice is under reservations, but it does work. Sites appear again, but more and more countries join the blockage.

Another anti-piracy option is to block advertising. In Sweden, some 600 companies, engaged in advertising, decided to blacklist The Pirate Bay and other pirate sites. According to sources, this initiative is due to the cooperation between the anti-piracy group Rights Alliance and the Association of Swedish Advertisers, which embodies over 600 companies. Since this approach requires a market consolidation, the practice can work just in small countries with organized and coordinated advertising industry. It is possible to use software for automated advertising (Veri, Site Certification), so that it would not arrive at the pirate sites.

Another option is a banner that covers advertising. It notifies users that the site is charged with piracy. For this purpose, the anti-piracy police unit, for example, PIPCU in London (The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit), will apply the software developer’s technology Project Sunblock, which prevents from displaying advertising on porn sites.

There gain popularity technological solutions, such as “watermarks”. The Mediasat asked the NexGuard of Alistair Cameron to tell about them. In the summer of 2016, the Kudelski Group acquired the NexGuard Company, and one of the motives was the intention to complete assets with the “watermarks”developer just to provide a wider range of content protection. But this technology has its imperfections: this is a high price, and, as market players assure, any technological solution is got around sooner or later, so it is impossible to do without applicable law anyway.

Good results were shown by the cooperation with Google. Thanks to Google’s “Pirate Update”, using DMCA requests for specific phrases, the search engine stops displaying pirate sites. Here are the results:

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But Google is not a panacea. One of the problems is that it stops displaying legal content on the same site as well. In addition, due to fear of being accused of censorship and violation of freedom of speech, Google treats this technology with caution.

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Not so insignificant and may be the most important factor is to attract viewers to legal resources. Available and convenient alternative is a prerequisite to the successful anti-piracy campaign. The experience evidences that no country has succeeded in defeating piracy totally, but the fight is essential, otherwise illegal market will be growing.

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