European Leagues slams EU for new laws failure to protect against digital piracy

February 3 – The European Leagues association has condemned the European Parliament for what it says is a failure to enact new law that would protect the sport from digital piracy, the biggest single threat to its members’ revenues.

“Digital piracy continues to be a scourge on the European cultural and creative industries, including European sports, and will continue to be until clear and meaningful action is taken at European level to stop it. The European Institutions have a duty to protect this important sector, which has already suffered so much through the gruelling COVID-19 pandemic and must act now,” said the European Leagues in a statement.

The European Leagues is calling on the EU co-legislators to make the EU Digital Services Act fit for live content by rejecting article 14.3a).

Specifically the European Leagues say that the new act should mandate the removal or disabling of access to illegal live content during a live broadcast.

“The failure to clarify the concept of “expeditious removal or disabling access” to illegal live content, proposed as part of amendments to recital 22, is a missed opportunity to make enforcement of our rights meaningful and real,” said Alberto Colombo, Deputy General Secretary of the European Leagues.

The European Leagues say that the situation has been made worse by the last-minute addition to Article 14.3.a) that means hosting providers are not even required to “expeditiously” remove or block access to illegal content reported to them. They are allowed to leave illegal reported content available until its legality is assessed by the IMCO Committee.

“This is really hurting the live content of our Member Leagues, where every second counts and no interpretation or assessment is needed as content is fingerprinted and/or watermarked. To put it bluntly, this new article would unfortunately and literally help piracy of live content spread even more across the European Union,” said Colombo.

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