- Security TWENTY
- Women in Security Awards
As Anthony Joshua defeated Joseph Parker on Saturday night to now hold the WBO, WBA, IBF and IBO Heavyweight titles, hundreds of online streams illegally redistributed the fight. A software security company, Irdeto, identified 339. Many of these lower quality, illegal streams put consumers at risk of a poor viewing experience and missing key moments during the fight as they are detected, taken down or drop out, the firm says.
As with previous world title boxing matches, more can still be done to stop pirates illegally distributing live sporting events, Irdeto says. Streaming on social media were again found to have been a major vehicle for illegal streams, with 207 pirate streams detected using multiple social media channels including Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Twitch, reaching about 225,804 viewers. Pirates also took advantage of illicit streaming plugins for Kodi, the media player, with 71 streams identified on this platform. The firm says the tools are available for content owners and rights holders to track and combat harmful digital piracy, particularly around live sporting events.
Rory O’Connor, Senior Vice President of Cybersecurity Services, Irdeto, said: “High-profile live sporting events like this are major targets for criminals looking to profit from illegal streams. Content owners and rights holders can combine state-of-the-art anti-piracy technology, proactive services, and comprehensive cybercrime business intelligence services to shut down streams in real-time and protect their content investments. Consumers should be vigilant as well. By watching illegal streams, knowingly or unknowingly, they could miss crucial sporting moments and are exposing their devices, data and families to risks of cybercrime, inappropriate content and other threats. In addition, people who think about sharing events like this illegally should be aware that they could face charges or legal action as a result.”
As the firm says, pirates create professional-looking websites and services, to fool users into thinking their illegal content offering is legitimate. These pirates are also using ecommerce sites to advertise these services to consumers, despite these sites explicitly banning the sale of illegal streaming devices. Irdeto identified 180 advertisements for illicit streaming devices offering Joshua-Parker on e-commerce websites, including eBay and Gumtree in just one day in the week leading up to the fight. Irdeto points to its survey of more than 25,000 adults across 30 countries last year; that found that 52pc of consumers around the globe knowingly watch pirated video content.
Beforehand, FACT (Federation Against Copyright Theft) and the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) advised boxing fans that dodging payment for the pay-to-view fight is breaking the law. CEO of FACT, Kieron Sharp, said: “Whether it’s a re-stream on social media, a piracy site, or using a device, box or stick connected to your TV, avoiding the official provider to access the fight is illegal. FACT is leading the way in combatting digital piracy and working with PIPCU and industry to crackdown on illegal streaming and to hold those behind them accountable for their actions. It is getting harder and harder to watch live sport illegally and so boxing fans should be aware that if they were planning to watch the fight this way they are breaking the law.”