Organisers of sporting and other events who derive much of their income from pay-per-view or subscription live streaming are fighting a constant war against internet piracy. As a High Court case showed, with the assistance of judges and the legal profession, they are definitely winning.
An organiser of live boxing events sought an order against various internet service providers requiring them to block, or attempt to block, IP addresses which were being used to infringe its copyright in live-streamed events. The providers were happy to submit to such an order but, given its impact on the rights of others, the application received close judicial scrutiny.
In granting the order sought, the Court noted that it would enable use of what were described as 'dynamic web blocking arrangements' which had been developed at considerable cost. Public access to targeted IP addresses would be blocked in real time whilst live boxing events were in progress.
Dynamic blocking was quicker and more effective than previous anti-piracy methods and minimised the risk that legitimate access to websites would be inhibited. Parts of the Court's order were kept confidential, including the IP addresses concerned and details of how dynamic blocking works. Such confidentiality was necessary to guard against the risk that copyright infringers might otherwise be assisted in undermining blocking measures.