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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 23.04.2021, 11:20

Number of illegal pay TV service connections among households dropped by 19.5%

BC, Riga, 26.04.2019.Print version
The number of illegal pay TV service connections among households in Latvia this past year has dropped by 19.5%, compared to the year before that, according to the research “Illegal Pay TV Content Usage in Latvia” conducted by professor Arnis Sauka and the association “For legal content!” /„Par legālu saturu!”/. The number of inhabitants using illegal TV service connections has accordingly decreased by 19.8% or 37,000, i.e., from 187,000 in 2017 to 150,000 last year.

In general, over the period of the past three years since the association “For legal content!” has been conducting the research on illegal TV content usage, the number of illegal pay TV service connections among Latvian households has decreased by 36% or 38,000 households from nearly 100,000 households that were using illegal TV service connections in 2015 down to 62,000 households last year.

 

According to the estimates of professor A. Sauka, illegal TV service connections in terms of uncollected taxes have caused a direct loss to the state in the amount EUR 6.2 mln. Compared to the respective period before, also the amount of direct loss caused to the state has decreased, i.e., by EUR 3.7 mln, whereas since 2015 – by EUR 5.8 mln.

 

“Although the number of illegal TV service connections in Latvia is still high, for the first time in history I, being the leader of the association which stands up for the use of legal content, have welcomed the World Intellectual Property Day with a sense of contentment as finally Latvia can pass its status of the piracy leader on to another state. Public awareness of judicial culture is growing and naturally one can always expect a better result, but, in my opinion, it is very important to notice the positive trends because I truly believe that legal content in Latvia will become the norm rather than the exception,” the executive director of the association “For legal content!” Dace Kotzeva reveals, accenting that decrease in illegal TV service connections among households was achieved thanks to the understanding of the problem on behalf of State Police and its performance efficiency which is increasing year on year.

 

In 2018, the determined efforts of State Police have resulted in 11 criminal proceedings initiated on the basis of illegal supply of audiovisual content, three criminal proceedings have been referred for criminal prosecution and one person has been convicted of illegal retransmission of TV content. For the first time in Latvia, a person has been convicted of illegal retransmission of TV content. The TV pirate has been sentenced to a criminal penalty and to 200 hours of community service. In total, 135 inspections were conducted in the administrative field, 48 cases of administrative offences were initiated and two largest illegal streaming sites in Latvia where about 2000 films were available without a licence were shut down last year. The total number of registered users in these sites reached nearly 42,000. One of the sites had received even more than 1 mln film watching requests a month.




 

Association “For legal content!”


The goal of the association “For legal content!” is to actively fight against television and film distribution without the permission of the producer or supplier and to facilitate legal broadcasting on the telecommunications market. The association was founded on 7 October 2015. It was founded by providers of television services and producers of audiovisual content: SIA Tet (SIA Lattelecom by 01.04.2019), SIA Baltcom, ĀKF AS TV PLAY BALTICS LATVIJAS FILIĀLE, SIA Baltijas Mediju Alianseand SIA Forum Cinemas, members: provider of mobile communication “BITE LATVIJA, SIA ACME FILM, operator of orbital satellites SES ASTRA AB, Latvian Performersand ProducersAssociation (LaIPA), WIDE MEDIALLC, SIA Dautkom TV, SIA Ostkom” and the Latvian authors’ association “Copyright and Communication Consulting Agency/ Latvian Authors Association”.

 

 






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