Celesq® Programs

Piracy of Television Content: Deploying the Federal Communications Act

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In the age of cord-cutting, internet television has exploded, piracy along with it. According to industry estimates at least six to ten percent of North American television viewing is pirated. The cost to content owners, the television industry and broadcasters is tremendous. IPTV pirates brazenly sell subscription packages with 200 channels and 2000 title on-demand movie libraries for as a little as $25.00 per month. In an age of costly unbundling with Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Peacock, HBOMAX, and Amazon Prime, IPTV pirates create unbeatable illicit bundles. The Federal Communications Act of 1934 (“FCA) combined and organized federal regulation of telephone, telegraph, and radio communications. FCA Section 605(a) prohibits persons who transmit or receive wire or radio communications from divulging such communications except to authorized persons. Violations carry statutory damages ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 each, with mandatory attorneys fees and costs. Recent cases have applied the FCA to internet television distribution originating as satellite transmissions. The FCA also prohibits the importation, manufacture, sale, or distribution of a device with the intent to use it in any activity prohibited by § 605(a). Statutory damages range from a minimum of $10,000 per device to a maximum of $100,000 per device, with mandatory attorneys fees and costs. Join us to learn: - how the technology works - how the case law has been applied to internet television technology - what this means for content owners, the television industry, broadcasters and consumers - proactive measures to limit potential piracy Attorneys Raymond J. Dowd and Hardin Rowley are part of an anti-piracy team that recently succeeded in applying the Federal Communications Act of 1934 for the first time to the new IPTV technology in the Southern District of New York. Dowd is the author of Copyright Litigation Handbook (Thomson/Reuters/West 2019-2020). Join us to learn how internet television piracy works and how content owners and the television, cable and broadcasting industries can start to deploy this powerful tool in a cost-effective manner to deter piracy and to encourage legal content.

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  • Communications and Media Law
  • Computer, Internet & E-Commerce Law
  • Copyright Law
  • Covid-19
  • Federal Courts
  • Information Technology
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Privacy and Data Security
  • Privacy Law