I have made an overview of European legislation on the prohibition of cardsharing, that is to say the violation of ‘conditional access’. When you consult information on the website of the European Commission, the best thing is to look for the most recent publications, and not read all the old ones. The European Commission usually offers too much information which makes it totally incomprehensible and very confusing to the general public.
The European Commission has two directorates (and Commissioners) who are dealing with satellite-television:
http://ec.europa.eu/avpolicy/reg/tvwf/index_en.htm (2010: Neelie Kroes)
This includes policy on the European Directive Television without Frontiers Directive and the AVMSD Directive (Audiovisual Media Services Directive). The AVMSD-directive sets some moral standards and limitions on showing violence and sex to younger audiences. No more than twelve minutes of advertising per broadcast hour.
The European commercial broadcasters are united in ACTE. The RTL group (Bertelsmann) is far out the biggest commercial broadcaster in Europe, in money and viewers.
The parliamentary Commission for Culture and Education of the European Parliament controls the European Commission on this audiovisual policy.
The second commissioner who deals with satellitetelevision is Michel Barnier at the DG Internal Market
They combat tv-piracy and cardsharing. The legal basis for this combat is the European Directive 98/84 (year 1998, number 84). The European Commission has published two reports on the implemention of the directive in the EU-memberstates. You can find the two reports (2003 and 2008) as an annex.
The European Commission refers to the European Association against piracy: AEPOC.
The Committee on Internal Market of the European Parliament controls the European Commission in this policy.
The Council of Europe in Strasabourg also deals with tv-piracy and cardsharing. Most countries have ratified the Cyber Crime Convention. You can find more informatie on the Cyber Crime Convention on http://conventions.coe.int (ETS 185; Article 6 of the treaty deals with tv-piracy). So also the Explanatory Report. You can find a translation of the Cyber Crime Convention in some European languages.
Another European Convention on conditional access violation is ETS 178. This convention has been ratified so far only by the Netherlands and some Eastern European countries. The convention aims to ban all devices which make cardsharing possible, much like the European Directie 98/84. The treaty was not a success because such few countries signed the treaty.