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Premier League lauds Thai anti-piracy efforts

Premier League lauds Thai anti-piracy efforts

BUSINESS: The English Premier League is reporting an upswing in anti-piracy efforts in Thailand, with the organisation praising the country’s law enforcement for taking the crime seriously.

crimefootball
By Bangkok Post

Monday 2 May 2022, 04:45PM


Mr Plumb says the Premier League is seeing more positivity when it comes to protecting broadcast rights in Southeast Asia. Photo: Bangkok Post

Mr Plumb says the Premier League is seeing more positivity when it comes to protecting broadcast rights in Southeast Asia. Photo: Bangkok Post

“We have seen a real momentum shift and there’s a lot of reasons for that, but I feel the shift has come from the pirates to rights owners and broadcasters. We are seeing more positivity when it comes to protecting broadcast rights in this part of the world,” said Kevin Plumb, Premier League chief of legal counsel.

“I believe Thailand has one of the most active law enforcement agencies that we work with on a global level. We’ve also worked with DSI [Department of Special Investigation] and TrueVisions in Thailand. We can show tangible success.”

One example is a landmark case in May 2017 that resulted in the highest damage compensation ever paid in Thailand for copyright infringement, reports the Bangkok Post. The investigations, which began in Hong Kong, led to a raid of Expat.tv and its affiliated websites that stream Premier League content to various countries in Southeast Asia illegally, including Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The two owners of the site were ordered to pay damages totalling B15 million, in addition to forfeiting 7 million in funds seized, while being sentenced to a 3.5-year suspended prison term.

“That case shows Thailand has a very engaged law enforcement agency that helped us. It also shows there is a clear law and a judiciary that stands behind that law and is prepared to give out severe sentences for any breaches. Those things make a difference,” said Mr Plumb.

“We have also worked on certain websites in Thailand.”

Successful collaboration

The 15-year Premier League veteran executive said piracy in Thailand is primarily web-based.

As a result, the league has worked with the DSI on many successful raids of piracy rings.

He praised the Thai authorities for their efforts, as working on anti-piracy cases is often complex and time-consuming.

“It’s really complicated because it spins out to the suppliers and other avenues. It’s quite easy for law enforcement to just say ‘that’s too hard’, but in Thailand it’s the opposite of that. They prepare to see it through,” said Mr Plumb.

“It takes a long time and is resource-intensive, but that has been one of the most pleasing things we’ve seen as far as Thailand is concerned.”

The Premier League’s goals are to deliver quality and risk-free content to viewers while working with all parties to reduce piracy to a manageable level.

“We are genuinely grateful and delighted to have such passionate fans in Thailand. We know football is the leading sport here and the Premier League is one of the most popular competitions. We don’t take that for granted,” he said.

“We know a vast majority of fans in Thailand watch through TrueVisions or in the way that is intended. But we also know some don’t, and for those who don’t, I think it’s important to make them aware of the risks of engaging with pirated content.”

That’s why the league launched the “Boot Out Piracy” campaign to raise awareness and provide information about illegal streaming.

Real cost of piracy

Mr Plumb gave an example to illustrate the problems facing those who seek out pirated content.

“If people are getting up in the middle of the night to watch Liverpool against Manchester United, I’d imagine they wouldn’t particularly want to set their alarm to watch a match and have their screen go down after five minutes, or have ads popping up all over the place,” he said.

“They should be watching through TrueVisions to see premium quality.”

The league wants to protect genuine fans and allow them to watch uninterrupted Premier League matches, said Mr Plumb.

He said while people think they may not be paying any money to stream content illegally, they could be paying for it in another way.

“Pirates are not generally known for being generous to their consumer base. They are doing it for a reason, and that might be to sell pop-up ads that routinely have content you wouldn’t want your family to see. They will routinely have malware and ransomware as well,” said Mr Plumb.

As for working with the private sector, the Premier League recently extended its partnership with TrueVisions for three more years beginning with season 2022/2023 through until 2024/2025.

“It’s exciting for us and for TrueVisions to bring a reliable service to football fans. One reason broadcasters continue to invest and buy exclusive rights is because we are showing them that piracy can be reduced to a manageable level.”

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CaptainJack69 | 03 May 2022 - 12:45:19

Like all traditional linear broadcast companies worldwide True Visons is losing subscribers left and right. Cash cows like EPL and F1 are the only things keeping them in business. But who's going to pay 850B a month JUST for F1 when you can watch it for free online? IMO True is a terrible company and they can go bankrupt for all I care.

 

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