EU's pay TV providers want greater protection


BRUSSELS -- The current EU revision of pay TV rules must develop new measures if it hopes to clamp down on such piracy as card and password-sharing, representatives of Europe's pay TV sector said Monday.

Web sites that explain how to turn decoders into pirate devices are hurting pay TV operators, according to AEPOC, the European Association for the Protection of Encrypted Works and Services.

"Since those Web sites are de facto facilitating piracy, they should be banned and all consumers having downloaded illegal software should be identified," AEPOC said, calling on the EU to break the illegal chains of decoder manufacturers, importers and retailers supporting these activities.

AEPOC said that some retailers and installation companies even advised subscribers not to renew their regular subscriptions, giving them hacker smart-cards at reduced prices instead. It estimates that 1 billion euros ($1.59 billion) is spent every year in the EU on smart-cards and decoding equipment to hack into pay TV.

The EU is reviewing its rules on common standards for conditional access systems.