PRESS RELEASE: AAPA Speaks at OHIM-Europol Know-How Conference on IP Crime in Sports

04 April 2014

At a conference organised by the EU Observatory on IP Infringements (managed by OHIM) and Europol AAPA members, Christine Maury-Panis from Viaccess-Orca and Andreas Rudloff from Sky Deutschland, presented the challenges of card sharing and illegal streaming to over 90 delegates from law enforcement agencies, including the police, prosecutors and customs bodies, as well as private sector stakeholders. It was made clear that the broadcast and online distribution of sports content forms a significant part of the sports and pay TV businesses. Consequently online piracy, whether in the form of card sharing or streaming, is a serious crime, damaging both sports rights holders and pay TV operators.  Case studies were discussed during a workshop co-chaired by Sheila Cassells, Executive Director of AAPA, and Marios Aristidou from the IP Crime Unit of the Cyprus Police.


Addressing delegates from Brazil, the United States, Ukraine and EU Member States AAPA stressed the need for swift and effective cross-border enforcement action, including access to essential information. Current legal processes are considered to be cumbersome and too slow. Moreover, differences in the implementation of laws in EU Member States mean that cross-border action can be difficult. Equipping law enforcement agencies with knowledge and expertise about card sharing and illegal streaming, both infringements committed via the internet, helps to make anti-piracy activity more effective. Such expertise will also facilitate enforcement against IPR infringements of physical goods where there is growing use of the internet for distribution and illegal sales.

Sheila Cassells said that: “AAPA welcomes the opportunity to participate in the OHIM-Europol know-how conferences. These are valuable sessions which bring together private and public stakeholders facing the same problem. This allows us to share our members’ extensive knowledge and experience with the enforcement agencies, which are the essential element in successful anti-piracy activity. AAPA is also pleased to be able to exchange information about internet- based piracy with stakeholders who are now seeing a growing trend in internet distribution and sales of counterfeited goods.”


The Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM) manages the EU Observatory of IP Infringements and it the EU’s principal agency on IP matters. The Observatory is a network of experts and specialist stakeholders. Its objectives are to provide evidence-based contributions and data to enable EU policymakers to shape effective IP enforcement policies and to support innovation and creativity; provide data, tools and databases to support the fight against IP infringement; provide knowledge and learning programmes for IP and enforcement authorities as well as for businesses and IP practitioners; evelop initiatives to help innovators, creators and businesses (especially SMEs) protect their IP rights; and design campaigns to raise awareness of the value of IP and the negative consequences of IP infringement.