CASBAA backs strong WIPO treaty

MUMBAI: CASBAA reaffirmed the urgency of addressing the issue of pay-TV piracy across the Asia Pacific during an international seminar on copyright protection for broadcasters in New Delhi on 12 July.

The Seminar was jointly organised by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) and the Government of India. CASBAA executive director – India Anjan Mitra said that the unauthorized distribution of video content is the biggest barrier to innovation and investment in the pay-TV industry, severely damaging revenues and reducing incentives to produce premium content for consumers.

Mitra also presented case studies on how pay-TV content has been pirated, including the unauthorized re-broadcast of content in Australia, Vietnam, the Philippines and China.

According to CASBAA, pay-TV revenue leakage in Asia almost topped $2 billion in 2009. Despite digital deployments making pay-TV signal theft more difficult, the piracy problem remains rampant, with online services only adding to the challenges.

Working through organisations such as WIPO, which is promoting a new international treaty to protect the rights of all broadcasters, CASBAA is urging industry and governments to join hands to address the issue through technology, up-to-date legal frameworks and active enforcement measures.

“One of CASBAA’s key priorities is the fight against TV piracy. The tolerance of piracy can kill the entire industry. The Association is in full support of a strong WIPO treaty to provide broadcasters with the protection they need,” said Mitra.