August 24, 2022 11:59

ComCom: Dissemination of Stolen Online Content is Against the Law

During the past few years, the Communications Commission has been actively working with stakeholders and various organisations to protect intellectual property rights by removing illegal content from online space. Specifically, the Commission has been intensively communicating with websites that host pirated audio-visual content for more than two years. The Commission gave the website owners two years to bring the content displayed on their platforms in line with the legislation.

Eliminating piracy remains a priority for the Commission. To this end, we are constantly working both with local and international websites to prevent dissemination of illegal content. Upon the conclusion of a lengthy working process last week, the Commission once again appealed to the websites that host illegal content, calling upon them to remove pirated material from their platforms. With regards to the websites that have refused to remove illegal content despite the aforementioned requests, the Commission contacted internet providers, reminding them of their duty to take measures to eliminate piracy in accordance with the legislation.

To protect the interests of the public, the Communications Commission gave the companies as much time as possible to clear their platforms from illegal content and bring their activities in line with the legislation. Placement of audio-visual content online in violation of intellectual property rights causes serious financial damage to companies that are purchasing and offering the same content to users legally. Additionally, it damages the image and reputation of our country.

The Communications Commission has been acting within the scope of its competence in the field of copyright protection for several years. The first stage of these activities saw the Commission virtually eliminate all pirated and illegal content among broadcasters and cable TV companies. This was reflected in the letter sent by the Motion Picture Association of America in November 2019, thanking the Commission for the crucial role it played in the aforementioned process of eliminating illegal content in broadcasting, and asking for help in repeating the same process online.

The aforementioned letter was addressed to the Communications Commission, Sakpatenti and the association established to combat online piracy. Along with praise, it also contained a warning about online piracy in Georgia. The Motion Picture Association of America, whose members include Disney, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, Sony, Paramount Pictures and Netflix, expressed concerns about Georgian sites hosting pirated movies and warned that failure to eliminate the problem could lead to sanctions against the country, which would include delays or complete cancellation of world premieres of movies and TV shows in Georgia. The American film studios expressed their hope that the Communications Commission would soon help clear the Georgian online space from pirated movies and TV shows.

The Commission aims to eliminate illegal and pirated online content without damaging consumer interests. To this end, the Commission will continue to actively work with stakeholders and organisations on the issue of copyright protection.


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