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AEPOC: "Adequate legal protection marching at the same speed of technological progress is crucial for the media sector"

4th Anti-Piracy Symposium, AEPOC 10 Years Anniversary, Board of Directors Meeting and Ordinary General Assembly in Geneva

(PresseBox) (Geneva, ) .
- 4th AEPOC Anti-Piracy Symposium highlights need for a legal framework to adapt to technological innovation
- Three new AEPOC members approved: Boxer TV-Access, General Satellite and Mediaset join the Association
- AEPOC 10 Years: Association celebrates its first decade of activity in Geneva
- New AEPOC logo and key visual to express AEPOC’s commitment to fight digital media piracy

AEPOC, the European Association for the Protection of Encrypted Works and Services, underlined the critical need for an EU legislative framework adapting to new technologies of the content everywhere environment in order to secure digital growth – and strongly fight audio-visual piracy crimes: This was the central appeal of panellists and participants from more than 15 countries, representing the European media markets as well as Ukraine, Russia and the Arabic World, during AEPOC’s 4th Anti-Piracy Symposium held on January 29 in Geneva – on occasion of the Association’s 10th anniversary.

While since AEPOC’s foundation in 1997 important achievements in the fight against audio-visual piracy have been reached, today’s continuously evolving media and on-demand environment multiplies the risk of piracy crimes. This is mainly due to the fact of the growth of the media markets itself but also caused by lacking legislation in areas of digital rights protection – especially regarding the Internet which did not have today’s level of importance in 1998 when the EU Directive on Conditional Access was introduced. AEPOC calls upon the European legislative bodies to develop the next level of content protective laws to enable a secure and therefore sustainable growth of the audio-visual and multi-play markets.

In his keynote speech AEPOC President Jean Grenier explained: "Our experience shows a direct link between level of protection against piracy and the introduction of innovative services. 10 years ago piracy was one of the several issues to think about for the economical and technological growth – today digital theft must be the first issue to be considered in order to put the bases for the development of new efficient business models. We see how the role of adequate legal protection at international level marching at the same speed of technological innovation becomes crucial for any enterprise in the media sector."

AEPOC Vice Presidents Christine Maury-Panis (Viaccess – France Telecom) and Andrew Curle (Irdeto) detailed the legal means currently available in the EU to prevent and fight piracy highlighting the change in rights protection technology, that is evolving into an identity-bound logic coming from a purely device-bound systematic, thus making it necessary for the legal framework to acknowledge the technological progress – while long-term and perseverant partnership and international collaboration are as important to combat piracy directly through the joined forces of the industries involved. Moderated by Nick Snow, Editor in Chief of Advanced Television, AEPOC members and participants discussed the recent development in terms of anti-piracy operations and future challenges giving valuable insight with country-by-country case studies including examples and positions from Andreas Rudloff (Premiere, Germany), Michael J. Barley (BSkyB, United Kingdom), Lena Melinder (Boxer TV-Access, Sweden), Andrey Tkachenko (General Satellite, Russia), Ricardo Ferreira (TV Cabo, Portugal) and Steve Bjuvgard (Arab Media Corporation).

Davide Rossi, Secretary General AEPOC, summarized: "AEPOC will always stand on the piracy frontline, for deeply analysing the piracy phenomenon and continuously developing new best practices for the operators – working closely with the European and International institutions in order to have a regulation that does not stop the progress but enables growth, avoiding at the same time false steps and distortions."

Jean Réveillon, Secretary General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), congratulated AEPOC to its 10th anniversary and underlined the many common targets of the two associations – AEPOC had been officially founded in January 1997 at the EBU in Geneva.

During the AEPOC Board of Directors Meeting and the Ordinary General Assembly, held in the morning of January 29 and kindly hosted by the EBU, a total of three new applications of membership were approved bringing the association’s total members to 37 companies: Boxer TV-Access, General Satellite and Italian TV group Mediaset join the association with immediate effectiveness while approval for a further application is currently being considered. Moreover, the Ordinary General Assembly has suspended one AEPOC member (a possible exclusion from the Association will be decided at the next Board of Directors meeting). With AEPOC’s overall target to see evolve a legislation that better prevents illegal behaviour in the first place, the Association welcomed a recent court ruling in Korea, that sentenced three individuals active in pirate set-top-box technology exports and illicit data providing to prison, additional to fines.

The 4th Anti-Piracy Symposium and 10 Years Anniversary was also the occasion for AEPOC to officially introduce a new logo and key visual expressing the Association’s commitment to support the fascinating opportunities of the ever increasing content universe for all legitimate uses – while strongly fighting digital media piracy and the crimes associated to it.

The next AEPOC Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for April 2007 to be held in Munich, following the regime of the German Presidency of the European Union.

Note: Speeches and presentations of the Symposium are available on the association’s website as well as the new AEPOC logo, also as a 10 Years special version, together with the new AEPOC key visual: www.aepoc.org and see the online version of this release for direct links to the documents.