AEPOC: Sweden to extend its so far minimalist implementation of the CA-Directive

AEPOC focuses on anti-piracy situation in Sweden
(PresseBox) (Stockholm, ) .
- Sweden aiming to make private use of piracy equipment illegal
- High level of attention on EU Commissions’ public consultation on the review of the Condition Access Directive
- Major achievement for AEPOC Member Premiere, banning piracy boxes in Germany

AEPOC, the European Association for the Protection of Encrypted Works and Services, welcomes different endeavours in the Nordic countries and especially Sweden to develop a stronger legal framework against audio-visual piracy: AEPOC’s recent Board of Directors and Ordinary General Assembly meetings held in Stockholm on June 12, focused on the situation of Pay-TV piracy in Norway, Denmark, Finland – and Sweden, with the latter commonly known as ‘save harbour for pirates’.

Guest speaker David Würgler from STOP, the Scandinavian TV-Organisations against Piracy and longstanding partner association of AEPOC, gave a comprehensive update and highlighted different successful cases of law enforcement and industry cooperation, including the issue of card sharing. David Würgler explained that due to the rather minimalist implementation of the Conditional Access (CA) Directive in Sweden, the country’s set of legal threats for the users of illegal equipment is very limited currently. All other Nordic countries have much tighter legislation in place and Denmark is even considering introducing imprisonment of up to 6 years for CA-crimes. Especially Norway is very active regarding law enforcement and the specific know-how needed to assess audio-visual piracy crimes. In contrast to its neighbouring countries, Sweden still lags behind in many areas. However, different legislative moves within Sweden’s parliament give reason to believe in making the private use of pirate cards illegal within the year 2009 already.

Further details on the manifold and intense anti-piracy actions in the country were presented by Lena Melinder, AEPOC representative of Boxer TV-Access and host of the Stockholm meeting, together with Outi Leijon of Tevefolket: Tevefolket and its counterpart Filmfolket are two dedicated national coalitions of Sweden’s Pay-TV operators and the film industry promoting pay content and movies – in close dialogue with national legislators as well as the public to ensure a viable and sustainable market place for high quality audio-visual content.

AEPOC President Jean Grenier commented: “ AEPOC is pleased to see that relevant endeavours are underway to extend the implementation of the CA-Directive in Sweden – joining the corridor of most EU countries and further narrowing down the living space for pirates.”

Review of the Conditional Access Directive

Within the process of reviewing the CA-Directive the European Commission has received submissions of more than 50 associations and companies having responded to the public consultation. Analysing the documents (available online here*, including AEPOC’s submission) many responses show a high level of convergence with the position of AEPOC, while other interest groups e.g. from the ISP and mobile sectors have interesting and partly also disputable approaches. With the CA-Directive already today being the most effective legal tool to combat audio-visual piracy in the EU, AEPOC will closely follow the development of the revision and continue its direct dialogue with the Commission.

Summarizing AEPOC President Jean Grenier said: “All in all we are more than pleased to say that audio-visual piracy is increasingly achieving utmost attention from all relevant stakeholders: The EU, national legislators as well as law enforcement, working closely with the different players of the Pay-TV industry. While there are still many areas of improvement, we do not record any set-backs, and thus notice an accelerated development into the right direction. In this context I only refer to some highlights such as the recent banning of piracy enabled digital receivers in Germany by a Hamburg court, following a legal case brought to justice by AEPOC member Premiere. Moreover, we are happy to see that France’s Mission Olivennes to bring down private piracy is steadily moving forward with a soon to come examination for the operational functioning of this industry and national legislators joint and ground-breaking initiative.”

The next AEPOC meeting is scheduled to take place in Q3 2008. Further details will be communicated in due course.

Press update: Jean Grenier's speech, announcing the 'Budapest Agenda', is now available on the AEPOC website in 'spoken word' version.

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