Should Any Device Which Can Be Used to Infringe IP Be Made Illegal? * TorrentFreak

burstWith pirated set-top boxes, illegal IPTV services and infringement of live TV broadcasts remaining key concerns for the audiovisual sector, there is pressure to find more effective anti-piracy solutions.

Speaking with IBC Last week, Sheila Cassells, executive vice president of the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance, warned that entertainment companies should be very concerned about “any technological developments” that could be used to access pirated content.

From the VCR to the iPhone, from Google Glass to today's AI, being “very concerned” about new technologies is the default position of major rights holders, and in their position, many might feel the same. However, the focus of the conversation was on certain devices, referred to in the interview as “ISD, Firesticks and Android Apps” and their various abilities to facilitate piracy. What is AAPA's position there?

“At a basic level, and common to all of the technical devices mentioned, AAPA would like to see the production, marketing and distribution of any device that can be used to infringe intellectual property made illegal” – Sheila Cassells.

Be careful what you wish for

Given Cassells' vast experience and collective knowledge of AAPA members including Premier League, Sky, beIN, Canal+ and DAZN, we can assume that the above statement is not actually the AAPA's position, at least when taken literally. However, it raises some interesting questions.

Like many other people who spend too much time in front of a computer, the desk in front of me represents an Aladdin's cave of devices. that can be used to infringe intellectual property rights. There is a monitor that has the ability to display copyrighted images or show unlicensed movies, and is even large enough to be viewed outside and create liability for an unlicensed public performance.

There is a large collection of USB drives of various shapes and sizes, but only one that I am 100% sure of its contents. In any case, there should be a few terabytes of storage capacity, and everything It can be used infringe intellectual property rights; Movies, TV shows, software, e-books – literally nothing is certain.

As for the mobile phone, it is an infringement machine. It has the ability to record movies in theaters, store copies for retrieval, and then distribute them over the Internet. No song is safe either; From the get-go, he was able to infringe the copyright of every track ever made, in the entire history of music.

You can't ban all things, all the time.

The sobering truth is that every technology device on your desk and most of the rest of your home It can be used to infringe intellectual property rights. Even the Internet connection (or perhaps mainly the Internet connection) It can be used infringe intellectual property rights, but that will not necessarily be the use case.

So, after making a fairly basic but sensible argument that there is zero chance of outlawing the production, marketing and distribution of ANY device that COULD be used to infringe intellectual property, what does AAPA actually mean and how can the problem be addressed?

With respect to the devices mentioned above (all set-top boxes), Cassells refers to EU legislation known as Conditional access policy. It dates back to 1998 and was designed to protect television platforms that offer content conditionally, that is, customers get access to content on the condition that they pay.

Complex legislation, stripped down to the basics

The directive requires EU member states to prohibit an illicit device "that allows or facilitates without authorization the circumvention of any technological measure designed to protect remuneration for a lawfully provided service." The directive also prohibits "all forms of advertising, direct marketing, sponsorship, sales promotion and public relations that promote such products and services."

As is often the case with intellectual property, almost everything here can be boiled down to one of the most important ingredients: intent.

If a device is designed to infringe intellectual property rights, is marketed to infringe intellectual property rights, and infringes intellectual property rights when in use, attempting to claim that the device is technology neutral afterward is unlikely to be successful. the fact.

Since Firesticks have been mentioned, it's clear that they don't break the law by design, are not marketed as such, or infringe in any predetermined way. Therefore, they are not illegal and cannot be classified as such. However, they are absolutely capable of infringing intellectual property rights, so if some kind of intermediary intervenes with software or other modifications designed to infringe intellectual property rights, the device is now illegal, regardless of the original manufacturer's intention.

Illegal devices are already illegal

If we go back to the beginning at this point, there are clear and obvious lines between seemingly similar products when one claims to infringe and the other does not.

The Filmspeler case in the Netherlands established the illegality of devices when they are supplied configured to infringe intellectual property, so logically, “the production, marketing and distribution of any device that can be used to infringe intellectual property” is already illegal in the EU.

Cassells says the sector faces particular challenges in addressing devices made in China because taking legal action there is not easy. The nature of these devices is unclear, but if they are designed, marketed or sold to infringe intellectual property, the problem is not making them illegal.

In conclusion, this does not seem like a problem that requires a new law. It sounds more like a law enforcement issue, which probably prevents devices like these from entering the EU, being distributed in the EU, and then being sold in EU member states. Perhaps the only solution is to remove the incentive to buy them.

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