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The year 2022 is coming to an end, and as we look back, we can see that there has been quite a progress in the anti-piracy world. Although anti-piracy consciousness has been under construction for several years, in 2022 some of the progress made has been quite spectacular.

We will therefore try to analyze, through this retrospective in two articles, some of the trends observed in the entertainment industries we focus on: cinema, television, publishing, music and software.

2022 in numbers

All the figures used in this section are from and are relevant for the first three quarters of 2022. 

If we look at the geographical distribution, the United States accounts for 10.9% of piracy over the first three quarters of 2022 with more than 15 billion visits on pirate websites. The most represented European country is France, in the 5th place worldwide with 4 billion visits (almost as many as China and its 4.5 billion!), followed by the United Kingdom, in the 7th place (3.7 billion) – an almost perfect tie with Canada, which also has 3.7 billion visits. 

If we look at the evolution of each entertainment sector, we can see that piracy has increased the most in cinema (almost 50% compared to last year); the second most affected sector is publishing, while music shows the lowest increase (less than 4%). However, piracy has grown in every industry. 

We will thus try to review this year’s milestones for several entertainment industries to define how the evolution observed in 2022 may prove essential in the sector. 

Sports events and Ip Tv

In France, the year marks the official debut of the new Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority, ARCOM, which aims to be “the support and driver of a new public policy by modernizing the exercise of regulation”. One of the authority’s objectives for the year 2022 was to fight against the illegal broadcasting of sports events, which seems to have been a leitmotiv in several European countries this year:

  • BeIN Sports was the first company to get an injunction to block pirate streaming sites (and their mirrors) in January 2022 under the new French legislation. 
  • In March and April, authorities in Denmark, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands arrested, blocked, seized domains and even completely dismantled several illegal IPTV networks.
  • In Ireland, the Premier League obtained an injunction in the spring of 2022 that requires ISPs to block illegal match streams during the 2022/23 season. The High Court ruling is the third extension of a groundbreaking 2019 injunction targeting ISPs Eircom, Sky, Virgin and Vodafone.
  • Over the summer, BeiN sports organized a rather spectacular action: after joining with the anti-piracy coalition ACE, the sports broadcaster participated in the closure of several major sports streaming domains in Egypt. The Egyptian authorities and ACE worked very closely together. 
  • And finally, during the fall, the Spanish Policia Nacional, with the help of Europol, shut down a major pirate television service that was providing illegal services to 500,000 users in Europe. According to the police, the annual revenues from the illegal activity were generating annual profits of more than 3 million euros. Four arrests were made and about 100 people were charged.
  • In Italy, at almost the same time, major operations were also conducted. This time, it involved the dismantling a network of nearly one million users, also generating several million euros per year. 

European authorities to the rescue of rights holders

European authorities – both national and European – have been particularly active in assisting rights holders in the fight against illegal IPTV in 2022, conducting an unprecedented number of operations, including the implementation of dynamic blocking in several countries, allowing for a quick reaction when an online event – mainly sports – is broadcast. This is also the first time that so many arrests have been made, which gives us hope for the future.

We will see in mid-December, in the follow-up to our article, what were the developments of the year in the field of publishing, or the new role of social networks and online messaging; in the meantime, if you have a content to protect – film, series, music album or sports event – do not hesitate to contact one of our account managers, we will be happy to expose you all the ways we can help you.