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Pascal’s Wager: Why Content Protection is a Win-Win

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Recently, there is conflicting news coming out of the EU in terms of who’s responsible for content piracy. The European Union says streaming platforms while Italian authorities say end users. Whatever the case, you should still go ahead and do the right thing by protecting your high-value content.

 

EU Puts Onus on Streaming Providers

Earlier this spring, the European Parliament adopted a proposal to combat the growing problem of illegal broadcasts of live sports events. The Parliament also clarified who’s responsible for illegal content circulating online – the providers of live sports streams as opposed to the fans or consumers.

 

While Italy Fines End Users

In June, the Guardia di Finanza, Italy’s national police force specializing in fighting economic and financial crime, and Naples Public Prosecutor’s Office conducted an anti-piracy operation.

As a result, more than 600 illegal video streaming platforms were blocked. UEFA, European football’s governing body who organized the UEFA Euro 2020 tournament, applauded the operation since these pirate sites had unlawfully shared UEFA Euro 2020 matches. Those responsible now face six months to three years in jail plus a fine of up to €15,493 ($18,323). 

End users automatically received an administrative fine for up to €1,032 ($1,220), which is a completely different view as to the EU’s on who’s ultimately responsible for piracy.

 

Conflicting Messages Yet A Single Strategy Works

Just as with Pascal’s Wager, where the French philosopher Blaise Pascal used the equivalent of a cost-benefit analysis as a basis for his philosophical arguments, it makes sense to choose the option that would benefit us the most. 

In this case, that means streaming video providers should be implementing a robust content protection strategy themselves, regardless of what the European Union or the Italian authorities say about who’s responsible for piracy. A critical part of that content protection tech stack is to implement VPN and proxy detection so that only viewers in a particular geographical area can access territorially-restricted content. 

Online broadcasters including the BBC, BeIN, Amazon Prime Video and other leading broadcasters and streaming providers around the world have successfully deployed GeoComply’s industry standard solution for VPN and proxy detection, GeoGuard. 

Because no matter who’s right and who’s wrong, the best way to protect revenues from premium live sports content is for the streaming operators themselves to implement a content protection tech stack to ensure their valuable content is only accessible to legitimate viewers.

As Pascal argued, it’s much better to play it safe rather than risk being sorry. 

Learn more about how GeoGuard can help you stop geo-piracy in its tracks.