Marta Ochoa, senior director of fraud management at DIRECTV Latin America and driving force behind anti-piracy initiative ‘Alianza’, on the growth of pay-TV piracy in the region, and the steps regulators should take to scupper the pirates.
Marta will be speaking at the TV Connect Latin America 2013 event taking place in São Paulo on 2nd-3rd July. For more information and to register, please visit http://latam.tvconnectevent.com.
Firstly how big is the problem of pay-TV piracy in Latin America?
Offers for pirate services proliferate on the Web and also in physical satellite shops. Hence, the Alianza initiative is essential to help prevent the fast growth of pay-TV piracy.
What are some of the different types of piracy faced in the region?
Nowadays, most piracy is done through ‘key sharing’ (i.e. the sharing of decryption keys over satellite or internet) and streaming piracy (i.e. the broadcasting of content over the Internet by pirates who do not own the license to distribute such content). Another method the pirates use is retransmission of signal.
Key sharing piracy, and in some instances streaming piracy, require the use of a pirate device usually sold as a free-to-air (“FTA”) device.
Key sharing is very complex, and basically consists of “stealing” encryption keys via the Internet or satellite which are then distributed to the pirate FTA devices, but equipped with software that enables key sharing or streaming piracy.
What steps do you believe regulators should take to address these problems?
Regulators should ban the promotion, use, sale or importing of devices used mainly for piracy purposes.
The importing of decryption devices (such as the so-called “FTA” devices) should be subject to controls and allowed only for companies which hold a licence to broadcast encrypted signals.
What role do you believe industry collaboration can take in addressing them?
Industry collaborations such as the Alianza allow us to share expertise and know-how in fighting piracy, share the costs of fighting piracy, and increase individual and government awareness of the illegality of piracy, and the high damages suffered by the industry and the economy.