«Tricolor TV»: report on antipiracy activity for 2014
The larlargest Russian digital TV operator «Tricolor TV» continues active struggle against «satellite pirates» both in Russia and on the territory of CIS. In 2014 the operator achieved court decisions regarding several spreaders of «piratical» smart-cards. Besides, criminal proceedings were instituted on the territory of the Republic of Belarus against the owner of the internet server suspected in organization of illegal access to the «Tricolor TV» network by the principle of «card sharing»*. The court decision on this case might become the most serious blow at the «satellite piracy» of the last decade.
Results of the antipiracy activity of «Tricolor TV» in 2014 have been summed up. Thus, within this period, law machinery officers stopped attempts of distribution of «piratical» smart-cards and harmful programs in several regions of Russia. Criminal proceedings were instituted against 14 offenders, eight case papers have already been handed over to the court. Convictions were passed with regard to seven criminal cases, investigations on three more cases are in progress. On the basis of already made court decisions, Directorate for Legal Matters of «Tricolor TV» has brought four civil suits against the offenders.
But the main success of Legal Service of «Tricolor TV» according to its Head, Director for Legal Matters Dmitry Sigalov, is the first in the history of the company bringing of the criminal case against the owner of the piratical server providing «card sharing» services to the court.
During several months, officers of Department of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, with participation of Russian specialists, carried out operative development of several episodes of this case simultaneously. Within the framework of the investigation, about one hundred witnesses were questioned, mostly users who were deceitfully connected to the piratical «services». In the near future, the court must make a decision on this case. If the owner of the server is found guilty, he may be sentenced to 2 years of deprivation of freedom pursuant to Byelorussian law.
«When you read such materials, — Dmitry Sigalov says, — you are astonished by the cynicism of the pirates. The greater part of the users who face the «card sharing» are our pensioners, who do not know about modern digital technologies very well, and the criminals profit by it. This is a widespread fraudulent scheme of using our brand in their selfish interests. Pirates offer «to buy «Tricolor TV Full HD» cheaply, but after one or two months of servicing the signal disappears, and the «telephone of technical support», of course, does not answer».
And «Tricolor TV» thinks it necessary to clearly differentiate the degree of guilt of organizers of such fraudulent schemes to which owners of piratical servers belong, and regional installers of equipment who are actually given the role of ordinary performers.
Thus, only during the last year, criminal proceedings were instituted on the territory of Russia against the persons who offered «card sharing» in Tambov, Ryazan, Ivanovo. Elista; in all this cases, conviction was passed with regard to the suspects or the case was stopped by the initiative of «Tricolor TV» after the suspects had expressed their intention to cooperate with the investigation and to pay the material damages caused.
«We strictly adhere to the law, — Director for Legal Matters of «Tricolor TV» explains — If we see that a person was not an initiator of the fraudulent scheme and sincerely admits his/her guilt, we are ready to meet half-way and to stop the pre-trial investigation, provided that the damages are paid. However we do not intend to compromise with regard to those who is actually behind such criminal activity. These people violate Articles 272 and 273 of Criminal Code of Russian Federation and must be convicted in strict accordance with the law».
On the whole, during the last year, 105 internet resources were blocked by request of «Tricolor TV» within the framework of struggle against the piratical websites offering illegal access to the TV channels of satellite television.
«Tricolor TV» will go on actively fighting against the television piracy. Starting last year, Directorate for Legal Matters of the company also added to its armoury the practice of filing civil suites against the persons who are already convicted under criminal law. The amount of such suites may reach several millions Roubles. Several offenders were obliged to pay material damages under the court decisions, and in one case property of a spreader of «piratical» smart-cards was arrested.
«Tricolor TV» also brisked up the work on stopping violations of allied copyrights as objects of public demonstration. It is a question of broadcasting of TV channels in a cafe, a pub or a hotel without conclusion of a respective contract with the operator. In 2014 check with regard to 457 objects was carried out; 68 administrative reports were drawn up on the basis of the check results. Damages paid by such offenders amounted to 620 thousand Roubles. Offences were recorded simultaneously in several cities of Russia: Stavropol, Krasnodar, Rostov, Volgograd, Nizhni Novgorod.
Cable operators illegally rebroadcasting «Tricolor TV» content in their networks are also in the «zone of risk». Thus, criminal proceedings were instituted against the cable operator suspected in illegal rebroadcasting in Novocherkassk, and civil suits from the injured rightholders of TV content were also filed in court.
* «Card sharing» — widespread piratical scheme based on installation of satellite equipment with unauthorized persons, and a harmful program is installed on the satellite receiver, which connects the receiver with the piratical server via internet. For work of the «card sharing», payment must be regularly made to the server owner for his services, usually in dollars.