Halebury Sports Lawyer reports on the ABU Copyright Committee Forum
Halebury Sports lawyer Raj Koria was invited to speak last week at the 20th annual Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Copyright Committee Forum hosted in Colombo, Sri Lanka by national broadcaster, Maharaja TV.
The ABU is a non-profit, non-governmental, professional association of over 250 Asian and Pacific broadcasting organisations. Its mandate is to assist the development of broadcasting in the region and promote the collective interests of its members. The ABU Copyright Committee meets annually to discuss and share ideas and experiences, and to analyse and inform members about legal issues related to broadcasting. Experts from this field are invited to speak to the members on the changing trends in the broadcasting industry and on how they can protect their assets.
The Forum took place at Maharaja TV’s Stein Studios, in the studio housing the set of the Sri Lankan version of talent show ‘The Voice’. It featured panel discussions on IP Awareness for Broadcasters, Media Convergence and Challenges for Regulators and Media, and Broadcast Rights in Sports, as well as a workshop on Music Rights. Speakers came from several ABU members as well as organisations such as WIPO (the World Intellectual Property Organisation), EBU (the European Broadcasting Union) and CISAC (the International Confederation of Authors and Composers Societies). The focus of the Sports session was on the digital piracy of the live broadcasts of sports events. This is a growing cause for concern for broadcasters as it has the potential to undermine their investment in exclusive sports broadcast rights. Having had substantial experience of dealing with broadcast piracy issues both when working in the sports industry and when working for clients as a Halebury consultant, Raj was asked to address the Forum on the problems that such piracy causes for sports rights holders. Raj looked at the reasons for the increase in piracy over the last few years, the impact it can have on rights holders, the difficulties with trying to tackle it and the measures that can be employed to counter it. All speeches were well received by delegates and sparked lively discussions about the issues at hand.
Raj has considerable experience of advising clients on the sale and purchase of broadcasting rights to major sporting events, including the Olympic Winter Games, Sochi 2014, as well as all other commercial rights associated with sports events such as sponsorship and merchandising.
If you would like to contact Raj, you can reach him on: