The Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance Submits Proposals for EU’s ‘Digital Services Act’

By Bill Toulas / September 4, 2021

There’s still roughly a year left before the EU Council, and the EU Parliament will vote on the legislative proposal of the Digital Services Act (DSA), and the sweeping new regulation hasn’t reached its final form yet. As such, stakeholders and organizations are submitting their proposals to promote their interests, hoping that the EU Commission will succumb to the lobbying and add the clauses that would seal their dividends. In this context, the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAPA) has submitted a list of proposals aiming to strengthen DSA’s stance against audiovisual piracy.

The five recommendations are the following:

  1. Clarify the definition of “hosting services” to ensure a more efficient fight against audiovisual piracy.
  2. Avoid jeopardizing expeditious withdrawals of notified illegal content.
  3. Adopt measures to fight the facilitation of “off-platform infringement”.
  4. Adopt harmonized “notice and action” procedures, including stay down measures, specific policies related to trusted flaggers, and actions against repeat infringement.
  5. Provide for a comprehensive “Know Your Business Customer” obligation.

The most interesting point is number four, which requests the adoption of “stay down” measures against repeat copyright infringers. According to it, hosts, intermediaries, and providers of services should be obliged to block reappearing content that has been previously flagged by a “trusted” entity, intervening fast and without needing the submission of additional reports.

Another interesting point is number five, which requests the extension of the “Know Your Business Customer” (KYBC) obligations for all intermediaries, something that was previously raised by a large bloc of broadcasters, rightsholders, brand owners, and anti-piracy organizations. Stricter KYBC rules are very fervently requested by many stakeholders, so the EU Commission is very likely to implement something on that front.

Finally, there’s point three, where the AAPA requests more measures against hyperlinks posted on YouTube, Facebook, and other big platforms, taking users to pirate sites. These platforms aren’t directly responsible and don’t do much about the existence of the links. Still, considering their size, popularity, and traffic, the damage that is done for rightsholders due to this inactivity is huge.

AAPA is an active entity in the field, the equivalent of ACE in Europe, and an organization that has previously published similar proposals to the above - but targeting pirate IPTV platforms in particular. They represent EU-based rightsholders and broadcasters, so the DSA is directly related to the interests of its members.

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