Site blocking efficacy in Portugal

Incopro has compiled this report to assess the efficacy of site blocking in regime Portugal, with the administrative legal procedure now having been used for some time in the country – since November 2015. This report uses data up until October 2016.

This report also provides an overview of the current landscape for unauthorised websites that are used to obtain unauthorised film and television content in Portugal. The websites considered in this report for the purposes of examining the landscape of websites in Portugal are identified by Incopro’s Infringement Index which is used to assess the extent to which each site either infringes copyright directly or facilitates infringement of copyright (whether knowingly or not), by providing the public with access to films and television programmes, without the licence or consent of the owners of the copyrights in those works. In this report, an unauthorised site is a website that does not have a licence from the copyright owner to make available or facilitate access to copyright film and television content and that does in fact make available and/or facilitate access to such copyright content to a significant extent.

Key Findings

The findings in this report show that overall the blocks have had a positive impact, reducing the usage in Portugal of the websites targeted by the blocking orders in Portugal by 69.7%.

The key points from this report are therefore as follows:

  • Site blocking in Portugal has resulted in an overall 69.7% drop in usage to the sites affected by the first 8 administrative blocking waves ordered in the country. This is consistent with the usage patterns previously identified in other countries where usage initially decreases by around 70%, gradually decreasing further over time.
  • Evidence is found to suggest that alternate domain sites are being used by unauthorised sites in order to continue providing users access to infringing content. This trend of usage shifting to alternate sites does not equate to sites maintaining preblock usage levels however, with most receiving only a fraction of previous traffic levels.
  • The percentage of traffic to the blocked sites via proxies has increased since November 2015, when the blocking regime began. Usage of proxies has not itself increased in Portugal over this period however, the rise in the percentage of proxy usage is instead due to blocked site usage having decreased over this period.
  • The graph below summarises the findings of this report and shows the change in usage for the top 250 unauthorised sites in Portugal over the recorded period of September 2015 to October 2016 as compared with a non-blocking global control group. The 65 blocked sites in the top 250 unauthorised sites in Portugal have decreased in usage by a total of 56.6% in Portugal and increased by 3.9% globally. This clearly illustrates that the blocks are having the desired effect having decreased usage of these sites quite significantly in the target region, with the global control group indicating that usage of the sites in Portugal would likely have increased if not subject to site blocking. Overall usage of the top 250 unauthorised sites has decreased by 9.3% in Portugal, yet it has increased by 30.8% for the global control.

Download the Report