While pirated Hollywood blockbusters often score the big
headlines, there are several other industries that have been
battling with piracy over the years. This includes sports
Many of the major US leagues including the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB
and the Tennis Association, are bundling their powers in the Sports
Coalition, to try and curb the availability of pirated streams and
A few days ago the Sports Coalition put the piracy problem on
the agenda of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
Sports organizations, including Sports Coalition members, are
heavily affected by live sports telecast piracy, including the
unauthorized live retransmission of sports telecasts over the
Internet, the Sports Coalition wrote.
The Internet piracy of live sports telecasts is not only a
persistent problem, but also a global one, often involving bad
actors in more than one nation.
The USTR asked the public for comments on which countries play a
central role in copyright infringement issues. In its response, the
Sports Coalition stresses that piracy is a global issue but singles
out several nations as particularly problematic.
The coalition recommends that the USTR should put the
Netherlands and Switzerland on the Priority Watch List of its 2018
301 Report, followed by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles and
Sweden, which get a regular Watch List recommendation.
The main problem with these countries is that hosting providers
and content distribution networks dont do enough to curb
In the Netherlands, sawlive.tv, strikezoneme, wizlnet,
AltusHost, Host Palace, Quasi Networks and SNEL pirated or provided
services contributing to sports piracy, the coalition writes. In
Switzerland, mlbstreamme, robinwidgetorg, strikeoutmobi, BlackHOST,
Private Layer and Solar Communications are doing the same.
According to the major sports leagues, the US Government should
encourage these countries to step up their anti-piracy game. This
is not only important for US copyright holders, but also for
licensees in other countries.
Clearly, there is common ground both in terms of shared economic
interests and legal obligations to protect and enforce intellectual
property and related rights for the United States and the nations
with which it engages in international trade to work cooperatively
to stop Internet piracy of sports programming.
Whether any of these countries will make it into the USTRs final
list has yet to be seen. For Switzerland it wouldnt be the first
time but for the Netherl...