Content theft is having a “catastrophic impact” on the region’s entertainment industries, according to Sophie Moloney, the chief legal officer of OSN.
In an interview with Arabian Business, Moloney said that, conservatively, $500 million in revenue is being lost each year in the Middle East and North Africa from video piracy and content theft, which she called “a very serious and existential threat.”
“The current impact extends beyond satellite infringement with the evolution of technology, as new forms of piracy are constantly being introduced, posing an ongoing threat to the industry’s creating industry and putting livelihoods and jobs at stake,” she added.
According to Moloney, while “considerable progress” has been made in combating piracy - which, in OSN’s case, included cooperating with local authorities across the GCC, Egypt and Jordan in hundreds of anti-piracy – “much more can be done especially in the area of website block as the threat moves online”.
The impact of enforcement efforts, however, is “difficult to measure because of the impact of the crime.
“Although [it is] difficult to predict whether piracy will still be a major issue in years to come, we must remain steadfast in tackling this widespread problem,” she said. “There will always be people who want to steal content but moving forward as a network and industry, in this golden age of content, it's more important than ever that we remain vigilant about copyright protection, if we are to truly allow the creative community to flourish.”
To combat the threat, Moloney noted that OSN has outlined a number of enforcement security initiatives for 2018, including the use of technology to conduct cyber investigations, leveraging forensic investigations and tools to track down OSN pirated content, and taking down illegal links.
“We believe our collective efforts with regional authorities are paying off, as we begin to see significant progress in the fight against piracy,” she noted. “For example, in a first for the region, a Dubai court recently convicted an illegal internet TV provider.”
“Our message to businesses and government authorities is clear,” she added. “Let’s work together to shore up security and talk to our stakeholders, influencers and audiences about changing attitudes and making progress.”
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