Soccer World Cup: Casbaa kicks off anti-piracy campaign

MUMBAI: The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (Casbaa) has once again urged the Hong Kong hospitality sector to boost legitimate entertainment and sports industries, and not engage in signal piracy.

As part of its long-term campaign, Casbaa and its members are seeking to further raise the consciousness of bars and clubs in Hong Kong that screening pay-TV services without legal subscriptions means they are operating outside of the law, states an official release.

With the launch of the Fifa World Cup soccer competition in sight this Friday, Casbaa has reminded some 300 bars and clubs that legal action can be taken against those who air unlicensed pay-television broadcasts that infringe copyrights and the Hong Kong Broadcasting Ordinance. 

The 300 advisory letters to the bars and clubs, including private members clubs, note that pay-TV television signal theft is not to be tolerated by government or industry, the release adds.

Meanwhile, Casbaa commented that some progress is being made. During the past year, some bar owners have given undertakings to cease screening illegal TV broadcasts.

"We commend those who screen only legitimate pay television broadcasts," says Casbaa chairman Marcel Fenez. "And we continue to encourage bar-goers to contribute to Hong Kong's economy by giving their patronage to businesses airing legal, Hong Kong-licensed TV services. Certainly we want the community to enjoy the World Cup, but to do so in a way that ensures adequate remuneration to Hong Kong's service providers and the sports leagues who stage the games."

Under Hong Kong law, bars and clubs may only display pay-TV channels, under an appropriate subscription from a Hong Kong licensed pay-TV operator such as i-Cable or now Television. Other pay-TV operators such as UBC of Thailand, MultiChoice of South Africa and Dream of the Philippines are not authorised to offer pay-TV subscriptions in Hong Kong.

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