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Chile looking to penalize illegal television decoding

By Aguayo, Ecclefield & Martínez (AEM Law Firm) - 11/10/2017
Chile looking to penalize illegal television decoding

The Chilean Senate is studying a bill that penalizes illegal television decoding, a business that causes annual losses of USD 70 million.

The project focuses on all actors that sustain the business by importing, distributing, selling or installing the technological equipments and softwares that allow the interception of a legal TV signal. Illegal television decoding affects both the industry producing audiovisual content as well as the entire industrial chain, from generating the content to making it available for public consumption in general; at the same time, it damages and negatively impacts the implementation of policies that promote local content developments and distribution. In August, during a visit to Chile, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence urged Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to make TV piracy a criminal offense.

"We want to have the legal instruments to fight those who play against the rules of the game and had establish a business that is associated with illegal practices through the import and distribution of technological equipment", said Juan Pablo Letelier, President of the Senate´s Committee on Transport and Telecommunications.

Gianpaolo Peirano, Legal Director of DirecTV Chile, also assessed the bill, pointing that Chilean legislation "is delayed on the issue", while in other countries TV piracy is strongly sanctioned. "I hope we are now moving on the right direction and following the recommendations made by the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission", Peirano stated.

The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (Citel) is an entity of the Organization of American States (OAS) which coordinates telecommunications related mandates of the OAS General Assembly. In a June 2017 document, Citel listed regulatory practices to combat fraud of subscription-based television signals. Practices include the development and implementation of legislation prohibiting the manufacture, importation, sale, rental, and circulation of unauthorized subscription-based satellite television receivers. 

By Aguayo, Ecclefield & Martínez (AEM Law Firm) - 11/10/2017
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