CASBAA welcomes Chinese Broadcasters' US piracy law suits

DetailsEditor | 19 March 2015

The trade association for the Asia Pacific pay-TV industry, CASBAA, has welcomed reports that Chinese-language TV broadcasters have filed anti-piracy suits in US courts.

The action was filed on 13 March 2015 in the Federal Court of California by Hong Kong's TVB, CCTV from mainland China and US satellite provider Dish TV. The parties accused several companies of promoting and selling a brand of streaming media boxes, in particular a brand of pirate TV player known as the TVPad, targeted at receiving large amounts of pirated TV programming.

CasbaaLOgoCASBAA noted that these devices were manufactured and sold by multinational criminal syndicates whose upstream arms intercept copyrighted TV channels and programmes and stream them via the Internet. It said that among the companies whose content was being 'stolen' included HBO, Fox, Discovery and BBC, as well as from indigenous Asian producers from places like India, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Indonesia and Vietnam.

"Asian content industries are particularly hard-hit by unrestrained export of these boxes to North America, Europe and Australia," said CASBAA CEO Christopher Slaughter. "There are substantial niche markets for Asian content in those places, where consumers have a high ability to pay. With pirates stealing those markets, Asian TV companies are not able to expand investment in new content to meet the needs of the digital era. Media flows in the other direction are also affected: international companies and pay-TV platforms doing business in Asia face a growing problem."

"Proliferation of 'black box' streaming media players is a deadly problem for the Asian and international television industries," added CASBAA's chief policy officer, John Medeiros. "Governments are only beginning to take this problem seriously, and it is profoundly weakening their creative content producers ... governments have to persevere. If the syndicates are allowed to operate with impunity, the television industry will be decimated."