MultiChoice on the hunt for TV thieves

2015-11-05 13:49

Cape Town – MultiChoice will be appointing a Cyber Piracy Investigator who will aggressively go after South Africans who illegally download and share local and international TV content.

It comes as online piracy of shows and pirate viewing in South Africa and across Africa are dramatically increasing due to broadband access.

In November 2013 MultiChoice said its "aggressively attacking piracy", calling the growing piracy of TV content in South Africa and Africa "really bad", and in September MultiChoice Africa CEO, Tim Jacobs told the media that "piracy is a massive threat to broadcasters and rights holders, worldwide."

"Pirates are only about enriching themselves. We work with rights holders and broadcasters to stop it, but it's a moving target because their infrastructure means they can open new portals as we shut others down".

The illegal download of TV shows - mostly of hit American and British series like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead and Downton Abbey for instance - are rife in South Africa and has grown exponentially the last few years due to the confluence of viewers unwilling to wait months to see popular pay-TV programming and the wider accessibility of broadband.

Large connected servers with fast internet like tertiary institutions and company intranets in South Africa is where a lot of downloading and sharing of TV content takes place - especially under students who know exactly how to find, sift and link with the terabytes of illegally shared television they want to see and also have more time to search for exactly what they want.

'Going after illegal TV downloaders'

MultiChoice is pro-actively going to go after illegal TV downloaders and sharers in South Africa, similar to what American counterparts like Comcast, HBO, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon have increasingly been doing the past few years.

The Cyber Piracy Investigator who will be based at MultiChoice City headquarters in Randburg will be tasked to help reduce the downloading, streaming and redistribution of specifically sport content, local content produced by M-Net for its various channels on MultiChoice's DStv, as well as prevent and reduce the downloading and sharing of international, or Hollywood, content and shows.

As part of MultiChoice's cybercrime investigation the Cyber Piracy Investigator will "profile seeders, leeches or suspects" downloading and sharing content on torrent sites and those who want to stream it and will send take down notifications over illegal content, links, sites and advertisements.

The investigator will "gather and compile evidence" relating to content infringements which can be used to prosecute offenders in court.

The investigator will monitor local and international torrent sites, linking sites, cyberlockers, identify server locations and content, internet service providers (ISP's) and hosts, and "profile South African seeders, leeches or suspects", and monitor social media for illegal activity.

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