Piracy Shield enters the field


The new anti-piracy tool has made its debut. The 23rd matchday of the Serie A Championship, played between February 2 and 5, also marked the first round of activity for Piracy Shield, the platform developed by Sp Tech for Lega Serie A and subsequently donated to Agcom, designed to combat the illegal distribution of football matches.


The system allows the rights holder to access the platform during the event and report services that are transmitting it illegally. Upon receiving the report automatically, Internet Service Providers proceed to block the pirate site within 30 minutes. The results of this first round of activity were encouraging: 65 DNS and 8 IP addresses were blocked, accompanied by a notice to viewers stating, “Access to this site, which was illegally distributing copyright-protected content, has been disabled pursuant to an order from the Authority.” Beyond the numbers, which are still quite small given the scale of the piracy problem, the debut of Piracy Shield is a strong signal of the shared will to curb a phenomenon that harms everyone—broadcasters, producers, football clubs, authors, and the audiovisual market—benefiting only organized crime. This phenomenon, by diverting resources and leading to reduced investments, indirectly affects end users as well.


Given the complexity of the process, which involves various stakeholders, there is certainly ample room for improvement, both in terms of the protocols adopted and the effectiveness of the measures implemented. However, for the first time, the entire industry has come together as a system for a common goal, alongside the legislator who wrote the laws and the regulator who codified them into a structured procedure. It should also be remembered that, although technology played a key role in this case, technology is not the only element to focus on in combating piracy: the cultural aspect is equally important, and much work remains to be done in this area.