Business & Economy

Over 1M Youtube videos removed in LaLiga piracy clampdown

Madrid, May 24 (EFE).- LaLiga’s fight against online piracy saw more than 1,065,000 videos taken off Youtube and more than 368,000 removed from social media platforms last season, the league anti-piracy director Guillermo Rodríguez said at the fifth EFE Sport Business Days forum.

Organized by Efe News Agency and Best Option Media and presented by Efe’s head of sports, Luis Villarejo, the event, titled “Sportech, technology in sports business”, was also attended by Sport Boost director Carlos Cutropía, technical director of synchronized swimming at the Spanish Swimming Federation, Ana Montero, and Fernando Martín, who is in charge of digital development for the Association of Basketball Clubs (ACB).

“We started working in 2015 (…) and started to evaluate the impact online piracy would have in financial terms and in terms of reputations and branding. We realized the impact it had on competition and society, and that we needed to go beyond just removing the video and do more of what we are doing at LaLiga’s anti-piracy labs,” Rodriguez said.

Through their work, which he said “technology was crucial” for, more than 75,800 URLs have been removed from Google and over 26,000 profiles have been taken off social media this season alone.

Rodriguez pointed out that “according to the European Intellectual Property Office, piracy causes a loss of more than 60 billion euros and more than 400,000 jobs in Europe every year” and has a major impact on competition and society.

“Online pirates are constantly evolving. We respond to any type of intellectual property infringement, whether live or on-demand, because piracy does not end when a competition ends. A technological solution such as the one we have developed allows us to reduce time, risks and costs,” he said.

Rodríguez said LaLiga takes a “360 degree approach wherever piracy is being commercialized, distributed or promoted” — on search engines, which represent more than 95% of global queries on the Internet, in apps, to locate possible identity theft, scams or unauthorized use of the brand, and on more than 70 social media platforms.

With a laboratory in Madrid and another in Mexico, plus the development of tools such as “Lumiere”, “Marauder” and “Blackhole” for detection, protection and identification, LaLiga carries out “legal actions against infringers or consumers, as well as collaboration with anti-piracy and lobbying organizations to have a legal framework to act swiftly and in the shortest possible time.”

“For that we need a law that allows us to act quickly. Communication is also important, so that the online pirate knows that we are going to pursue them and act against them, but also to transmit that message to the consumer,” Rodríguez said.

On the countries or regions where this type of illegal activity may be more common, the LaLiga executive said that “piracy does not understand countries or borders” and there are “certain areas of the world where there is better infrastructure or the legislation is more lax in terms of intellectual property.”

“They have servers in various spots, such as Kenya, the Seychelles and Kazakhstan, but we would be surprised to see the number in Germany, they have almost 1,700 servers. We have them closer than we can imagine,” he said.

Guillermo Rodríguez pointed out that a match like the Champions League final on Saturday or a Clasico are events “with a lot of demand, there is a peak of pirated content available for fans to consume and the pirates know it.”

“We, in the case of El Clasico, add an extra to the cybersecurity team that is working in real time, to be able to act against all the infringements that are going to occur online. We have to act during the broadcasting of the match, with the tools and our team, to eliminate in a matter of minutes, if not seconds, pirate broadcasts over the Internet,” he concluded.


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