The scourge of piracy in the face of broadcasting organizations in Honduras

By: Sandra Amaya

Broadcasting organizations such as national and international television stations state that signal piracy causes them serious economic losses annually, since they make large investments in the acquisition of transmission and retransmission contracts with content producers and the infringers do not cease in the unauthorized use, because the measures to block the signals have become useless and useless in the face of the large amount of illegal equipment that has been manufactured and marketed to evade security measures.

Violators pirate encrypted TV signals, with equipment created to circumvent these security measures in the decoders. These ILLEGAL devices are available in e-commerce through platforms such as EBAY, AMAZON and ALIBABABA. This ease of acquisition is one of the problems in the fight against piracy, as international soccer tournaments such as the QATAR 2022 WORLD CUP are one of the main targets of these offenders.

According to the WORLD INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY ORGANIZATION (WIPO), “The development of cable and satellite broadcasting networks has brought with it a greater number of possibilities for signal transport, and satellite technology has fostered the global dimension of broadcasting. The massive adaptation of programs and content for digital transmission purposes creates countless opportunities for efficient and cost-effective transmission of high-quality content and for compatibility with other electronic media. In the digital environment, however, broadcasters face a serious problem of signal piracy.”[i]

In the same context, WIPO notes that “Television channel signals are not a natural phenomenon, they are the result of significant investments made by broadcasters in the creation of news, information on matters of public interest and other programs that result in important benefits to society. Broadcasters also invest in acquiring or negotiating licenses for third-party programs, which they organize and structure with their own content to create their programming. In addition, broadcasters invest in the equipment and infrastructure necessary to transmit such programming as an electronic signal. If the financial benefits are diverted to signal pirates, broadcasters will find it difficult to continue making these significant investments necessary to maintain their signals. The loss of licensing revenue hurts not only broadcasters, but all those involved in the supply and distribution chain.”[ii] The loss of licensing revenue hurts not only broadcasters, but all those involved in the supply and distribution chain.”[ii

The technology of transmissions and reception equipment has been evolving and developing since 1961 when the Rome Convention on the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations was born. Aware of the growing wave of piracy and intellectual property infringement, WIPO Member States are working to develop a new international legal framework that is in line with this new reality.

How do you respond to allegations that granting new rights to broadcasters will hamper freedom of expression, stifle innovation in the field of consumer devices, or create new problems for Internet service providers or Creative Commons licensees? These fears are unfounded. In Europe, broadcasters have enjoyed a fairly high level of protection for many years, and no such issues have ever arisen and no serious problems have ever arisen[iii].

In the meantime, the reforms to the international norms that regulate the rights of broadcasting organizations and in turn the reforms to each member country’s legislation, we call on the general public to respect IP rights and not to continue contributing with infringers in the deterioration and violation of copyrights. “SAY NO TO PIRACY”