Uneven level of law enforcement activity in the EU creates safe harbours for pirates

16 November 2009

  • Effectiveness of law enforcement against audiovisual crimes at different levels across the EU

  • 19 of 27 EU member states working within High Level Expert Group to improve effectiveness of the Conditional Access Directive (CAD)

  • Rob van Nunen elected on AEPOC Board of Directors

AEPOC calls on eight EU member states to join the High Level Expert group to improve the effectiveness of the European Directive against audio-visual piracy: During the recent board meeting of AEPOC, the European Association for the Protection of Encrypted Works and Services, members discussed the EU's progress to strengthen the central legislation against audio-visual crimes such as pay-TV piracy: Initiated by the European Commission, an expert group currently analyses and suggests amendments to the existing Directive to better protect conditional access services. The next group meeting is expected for December 3 and will bring together many suggestions from the 19 countries having joined this expert team.

AEPOC members are also in contact with several national delegates of this expert group to provide insight into today's limitations of the legislation. However, the association points out that eight EU member states have not yet nominated a country representative for the High Level Expert Group.

While AEPOC is pleased to see increasing effectiveness in law enforcement activities in many EU countries to counteract audio-visual piracy, several EU states show little involvement. Overall attention of law enforcement bodies improved, especially in France, the UK and Italy. The Portuguese institutions also act vigilantly in their battle against pay-TV piracy - and also more recently Sweden shows good progress following the internationally acclaimed judgement to close down the internet file sharing platform "Pirate Bay".

Eight EU countries have still not yet named a delegate for the EU's High Level Expert group. AEPOC calls on Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and Slovenia to join the group to help facilitate a better implementation of the Directive.

AEPOC President Jean Grenier said: "We are pleased to see an ever increasing level of law enforcement activities in many EU countries, acting concisely, quickly and in a sustainable way against audio-visual crimes. Especially France, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom must be seen as role models - for other EU countries that still do not consider audio-visual piracy to be a very relevant issue on their national agenda. We suggest to the eight countries not yet part of the Commission's expert group to take over their responsibility now - and not run the risk of neglecting the detrimental effects of piracy for their countries' and the EU's economies. Varying law enforcement activity across the EU will otherwise produce safe harbours for pirates directly within the EU."

At the AEPOC meeting in Geneva, kindly hosted by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the new representative for member company Irdeto, Mr Rob van Nunen, was elected on the Board of Directors of the Association. The final 2009 AEPOC Board of Directors and General Assembly meeting is planned for December 21 in Brussels.