EU urges crackdown on piracy of sports and live events

EU urges crackdown on piracy of sports and live events

Margrethe Vestager

The European Commission has called on member states to take action to combat commercial-scale online piracy of sports and other live events, such as concerts and theatre performances.

The Commission has adopted a recommendation encouraging member states, authorities, holders of rights and providers of intermediary services to take effective, balanced and appropriate measures to fight unauthorised retransmissions of such streamings, in full compliance with fundamental rights and personal data protection rules.

Margrethe Vestager, executive vice-president for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age, said: “The internet already enables European citizens to enjoy a variety of live events from sports events to live concerts.

“However, commercial-scale piracy is jeopardising the viability of our creative and sports industries — especially in case of live events which generate most of their value during the real-time transmission.

“It is therefore essential that online intermediaries cooperate with live and sports event organisers as well as broadcasters to combat piracy of live events.”

Thierry Breton, commissioner for internal market, added: “The internet allows us to watch live sports, concerts and theatre performance from the comfort of our homes more than ever before — but it can also put whole economic models at risk.

“We have already a solid framework to counter illegal content online, but it has to be enforced. Today, we call on Member States to step up the fight against piracy which demonetises our live event sectors, for example by allowing sports event organisers to seek an injunction.

“We are setting up a monitoring system and clear KPIs to assess the effects on these measures on the fight against online piracy and the potential need for further measures.”

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