International conference on blocking pirate domains

26 April is International Intellectual Property Day. On this occasion, ICC Poland – the Polish National Committee of the International Chamber of Commerce – and CANAL+ Poland, in cooperation with the Signal Association, organised an international meeting in Warsaw on cross-industry cooperation in the field of intellectual property protection.

Speakers and panellists from the Premier League, Ekstraklasa, UPC, T-Mobile, Motion Picture Association, DWF Poland, Canal+ and Anti Piracy Protection, among others, discussed leading methods of protecting audiovisual content, mainly blocking pirate websites. Dozens of countries around the world, including half of Europe, have been using this mechanism for years as one of the key mechanisms to combat the illegal circulation of content on the internet.

During the meeting, the experiences of several countries with different legal and technical models were presented. According to the MPA, 39 countries in the world already successfully use blocking of pirate sites.

The discussion about live-blocking, i.e. the immediate blocking of illegal live broadcasts, mainly sports broadcasts, has also gained momentum in the last year. While the European Commission is launching a debate on the subject, the eyes of Europe are on Italy. The Italians, who love football, without waiting for guidelines for member countries, are already implementing the principle of responding to illegal transmissions within 30 minutes.

What is the reality in Poland? We still have neither notice&staydown mechanisms to permanently block access to selected illegal content, nor tools to efficiently block entire pirate sites at DNS level. On the other hand, we have other self-regulatory mechanisms developed, unique in Europe, such as “follow the money”. Teresa Wierzbowska, President of Sygnal, talked about blocking payments on such sites and professionalising mechanisms for monitoring the phenomenon of illegal content trading.

In the panel discussion its participants came to the conclusion that in Poland, for the time being, the best solution would be to extend the list of blocked gambling sites to include a list of pirate sites. A joint appeal to the Polish authorities to take action in this direction is planned in order to implement such an idea.

Photos: DWF Poland and own