Cascading Effects of Digital Piracy
Digital piracy within the world of sports has emerged as a critical and prevalent problem ever since such broadcasts first arrived on the internet. Unauthorized re-uploads, pirated streams, and all other manner of additional unlawful activities have contributed to an atmosphere where online piracy is common and easy. Anti-piracy campaigns have taken many forms, the latest of which is the #stopiracy movement from the Italian Football League Serie A, a drive intended to help stem the tide and hopefully reverse the trend of pirated streams online.
Fans don’t know the extent of the harm
Often, consumers who pirate streams aren’t doing so because of nefarious reasons; they typically engage in such behavior because they do not realize the extent of the harm they are doing to the sport they love and the people that work within it. "Piracy is one of the biggest problem[s] in Italian football and we are almost at the breaking point of the entertainment industry,” commented Luigi De Siervo, the CEO of the League. Piracy is implemented by people who don’t realize how serious [the damage is]. In Italy, the estimated damage is over one billion euros a year, with 6,000 jobs being threatened.”
A global problem causing damage at all levels
Even without malicious intentions, measures that impede piracy are important to take for any creator. The #stopiracy campaign is a great way to spread awareness to consumers, but when pirated streams are so easily found, it can feel as if people aren’t really doing much wrong. The Italian League shows how even larger companies are susceptible to piracy. “The problem is global and damages football at all levels,” stated Gaetano Miccichè, the league’s president. Such criminal activity can have an even more profound effect on smaller and more vulnerable companies without the global presence of an international sports league.