The Summit Anti-Piracy & Content Tour said goodbye to its 21st edition this Wednesday, December 4, for the third time in Guatemala City, putting on the table topics such as under-reporting, user awareness and the possible creation of a technical table in the country, to Fight piracy.
Sponsored by Tigo Guatemala, LaLiga and HBO Latin America, and organized by TTVMedia and Latin America Anti-Piracy & Intellectual Property Consulting (LAAPIP), the Summit took place at the Real Intercontinental Hotel and hosted local and regional authorities and operators to discuss topics of interest.
UNFAIR COMPETITION FOR OPERATORS
Following the welcome remarks of Francisco Escutia, CEO of Latin America Anti-Piracy & Intellectual Property Consulting (LAAPIP), Rodolfo Mendoza, executive director of the Association of Programmers, Distributors and Agents of Cable Television Channels for Central America (Aprodica), revealed shocking figures on the local television market.
According to their data, 55% of households in Guatemala have pay-tv, while 16% have broadcast TV. And although the gap between households with broadcast and pa-tv has closed, there is a strong informality from cable companies and that is one of the reasons for pay-tv piracy: 59% of companies are not registered.
This problem costs the state 150 million annual quetzales and programmers lose 231 million annual quetzales.
Rodolfo Mendoza also said that “the issue of piracy is internationally, and results in other types of illegal activities such as tax evasion and money or asset laundering.”
Aprodica’s figures reflect part of the problem of one of the Guatemalan operators, Tigo, which must face the theft of signals with the use of its brand.
However, the figures are not all negative. According to data presented by Marvin Martínez, Chief B2C, 14 pirate cable companies have received notarial acts with claims and complaints and there is an 86% success in getting them to stop transmitting illegally.
FIGHTING THE THOUSAND HEAD MONSTER
“Access to sports content is not free in almost any part of the world due to large investments in player salaries, infrastructure, television production, sportswear rights, among others, and users must pay for this content”, Explained Marvin Martínez.
While Alfonso Lua, Deputy General Counsel and Regulatory Affairs Mexico, Central America and Caribbean, spoke of all those affected: “These are copyrighted works, the issue is how we protect that heritage and those rights. Do not forget that not only the owner of the work loses, but everyone.”
That is why both the local authorities and the operators agreed, among several points, in the joint action of all actors, authorities and entities in order to fight piracy.
“It is impossible to control everything, so you have to educate users so that they understand that piracy implies a robbery. We must make it a social phenomenon and not only a fight for programmers; you have to make it known to people,” added Victor Barrios, of the Intellectual Property Registry.
“About 95% of the Guatemalan population has ever consumed pirate content,” Victor Barrios warned, continuing with a possible solution: train Customs personnel so they know when to determine an intellectual property violation and address legal inconsistencies in the country’s legislation.
In this regard, Darleene Apolonia Monge Pinelo, Intellectual Property Prosecutor, said: “The problem is already there, the legislation must be modified. You need the tools to fight piracy.”
“Piracy is the monster of a thousand heads,” said Carlos del Campo, Deputy Director of the Presidency (LaLiga), highlighting the work of LaLiga with a piracy department that works 24 hours a day with its Marauder software.
And he concluded: “We have been working on generating awareness with the fans so that they understand that when they pirate, they are stealing.”