London / Lisbon – 27 July, 2017 – INCOPRO, the online brand and content protection experts, today released a new report showing that Portugal’s regulatory site blocking orders have successfully reduced use of large-scale piracy websites by 69.7 percent.
Site blocking has become a recognized practice in countries across Europe over the past few years. In 2015, a memorandum of understanding was reached in Portugal between local rightsholders, internet service providers (ISPs) and the government according to which access to copyright infringing sites can be blocked by ISPs following an order of governmental body IGAC (Inspeção Geral das Atividades Culturais).
The new report was commissioned by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) jointly with Associação Portuguesa de Defesa de Obras Audiovisuais (FEVIP). The findings show that, following the implementation of site blocking orders between November 2015 and June 2016, there was a significant reduction in users accessing infringing websites. The study was completed with a global control group as a point of comparison to what may have happened had the sites not been blocked.
Additional key highlights of the report show:
- Out of the top 250 unauthorised sites in Portugal, 65 were blocked and decreased in usage by a total of 56.6 percent in the time frame, but increased by 3.9 per cent globally.
- Usage of the top 250 unauthorised sites in Portugal has decreased overall by 9.3 per cent; however, the global control group showed a 30.8 per cent increase globally.
- The usage of the 30 blocked Portuguese language sites that are listed in the top 250 unauthorised sites in Portugal has decreased by 41.8 per cent, while they increased by 39.2 per cent in Brazil.
The findings of this study are in line with similar reports undertaken in the United Kingdom demonstrating that site blocking is effective and decreases the use of infringing sites.
Helen Saunders, head of Intelligence and Operations at INCOPRO, said: “We were incredibly excited to continue our work with the MPA, and that we are seeing such positive results. It’s important to highlight that the impact of these blocks can be felt not just in Portugal, but globally. It’s fantastic to see that more countries are starting to take action against piracy, and are getting great results. We hope that this report will inspire even more geographies to take similar action in a concerted effort to safeguard the global entertainment industry.”
Stan McCoy, President and Managing Director of the MPA EMEA, said: “Piracy continues to be a serious threat to the health of a European core copyright-intensive sector that employs 11 million people and generates EUR 914 billion in economic activity. Yet research shows that this problem can be curbed. At the MPA, we take a three pronged approach: make legal content easy to access, engage consumers about the negative impact of piracy, and deter piracy through the appropriate legal avenues. All stakeholders must work together as joint stewards of the creative ecosystem.
Paulo Santos, Managing Director of FEVIP – Portuguese Defense Association of Audiovisual Works, said: “All forms of piracy generate huge losses for every player in the value chain, including authors, artists, editors, producers, moviegoers, distributors, providers of pay TV and audiovisual services on demand and the government. This is why it is important to work with all these players as they are directly interested in this issue and have a common and collaborative interest in taking actions against large scale commercial operators that make money off the back of the creators. The MOU signed in 2015 between IGAC, collective management entities, FEVIP, ISPs and other entities, within the applicable legal framework, implemented this joint vision through a simple, feasible mechanism of action, being therefore of the greatest relevance in the fight against piracy, in the interests of all.”
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FEVIP – Portuguese Association for the Defense of Audiovisual Works, was created 25 years ago in the audiovisual industry as a non-profit association whose purpose is the defense of the copyright of its associated companies, whose areas cover video editing and distribution, videogames, cinema distribution, and channels and cable signal operators.
FEVIP has always make all efforts to develop its actions in the fight against piracy on several fronts, always adapted to the reality of the moment, from the physical environment, where VHS tapes were predominant, moving then to the pirate DVDs in the fairs and stores, or even in the current digital age, where illegal file sharing over the Internet is a daily reality.
Alongside our proactivity in combating illicit acts against copyright, FEVIP fosters good relations with political power, as well as with the different sectoral associations, which soon put us leading a project that congregated the most important players in cultural industries in the implementation of the “Memorandum of Understanding”, making Portugal an example of best practices not only at an European level, but also worldwide, regarding the blocking of websites that display illegal works protected by copyright.
Founded in 2012, INCOPRO is an online brand protection company. Its proprietary technology platform TALISMAN collates a mass of data on brand infringement and automatically identifies and prioritises IP violations. Its clustering technology is uniquely able to track and connect the commercial scale counterfeiters, enabling the comprehensive takedown of all associated operations.
Headquartered in London with operations also in the USA, INCOPRO’s team is made-up of more than 50 experts in IP law, investigation, intelligence and technology who provide some of the biggest brands in the world with connected and actionable insights into IP infringements online. In 2016 INCOPRO formed a partnership with trademark and domain clearance and protection business Corsearch, further expanding its services.
About the Motion Picture Association (MPA)
The Motion Picture Association (MPA) is an international trade association for companies that invest in, produce, distribute and market film and TV content internationally. MPA members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Director of Digital Marketing | INCOPRO
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To view the original press release, click here.
The press release is also available in Portuguese. Download here.