Spain's DTT boxes: IP theft?

Iñaki Ferreras

Spain's DTT market has plenty of boxes that don't fulfill the intellectual property laws, according to one of the country's most important manufacturer Televés.

The manufacturer claims a "worrying" effect is being taking place in relation to the sale of boxes which don't pay royalties for the use of their technology. A lot of these gadgets, the company claims, are being made outside of the EU and "violate" the laws protecting intellectual and industrial property (copyrights) since they don't pay rights for the use of the algorithms in the signal processing nor for the propietary software for this purpose.

Not paying these rights not only affects the importer or manufacturer of these equipments but also the distributor. Companies involved risk being fined but they also prefer not paying these rights, Televés underlines.

The digitalization of audio/video services means the use of algorithms processing the signals. According to Televés for the information compresion, transmission and storage some software routines are used which are identified by acronims such as MPG, DVD, DVB-T, MP3, HDMI or DiVX for example. In particular the DTT reception implies the use of the DBV-T technology. The use of these standards implies the use of propietary software. According to the company every manufacturer or importer that implements this propietary software in its products is forced to set a contract for the licence usage.

This contract establishes a bilateral agreement meaning the owner of the rights of the technology gives the other party the right to use it in exchange for a certain price. This price is commonly known as "royalty". So according to the company those manufacturers, importers and distributors not fulfilling the law are taking an illegal advantage.

Televés is one of those companies which does fulfil the protocol, the company said.