Blocking pirate sites by ARCOM: why the authority does not seem to have a very significant impact

Thibaut Keutchayan

May 23, 2023 at 9:40 a.m.


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© Shutterstock / Clubic

Since October 5, 2022, the Audiovisual and Digital Communication Regulatory Authority (ARCOM) has been firing on all cylinders in its fight against the online consumption of pirated content.

Nevertheless, a year and a half after its launch, the assessment of this action is mixed, as reported by a survey by Mediametry.

More than half of respondents are aware of blocking measures

The illegal consumption of pirated content online leads, among other consequences, to serious financial damage for rights holders. A historic first, since October 5, 2022, directly associates ARCOM with the holders of the rights in question to block as quickly as possible the platforms broadcasting films, series and other various files without authorization, with some favorable results to highlight. For example, 166 domain names of pirate sites have already been identified by ARCOM and blocked by Internet service providers (ISPs) between October 2022 and April 2023, with no less than 40 referrals over this period. .

If the consumption of pirated content is nothing new, the restrictions are on the other hand more and more numerous, and the least that can be said is that a good number of Internet users are aware of it. According to a survey of Mediametry comprising more than 2,000 participants, 53% of respondents say they are aware of these blocking measures. 38% of Internet users questioned admit to having been confronted with a blocking of the site on which they consume their audiovisual or cinematographic content illegally.

However, and this is one of the black points raised by the survey of Mediametry, only 7% decide, following a blocking of their site, to turn to a legal solution to access the desired content. If 46% of them say they have abandoned their current search in the process, 41% admit to having sought another solution to illegally access the targeted content, and 6% have even tried to circumvent the blocking to access their usual site.

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© AlexLMX / Shutterstock

-29% audience for sites blocked between January and March 2023

It cannot therefore be said that ARCOM is stalling, but the beneficial effects of its campaign are still limited. If the streaming sites, in particular sports, and their mirror sites, are quite effectively closed, the download sites are much more complex to seize, because they are in particular in the hands of a much more ” techie “, and they multiply into many mirror sites at high speed.

In terms of illicit consumer profiles over the last 6 months (until April 2023, therefore), we find the vast majority of 15-34 year olds (68%), well ahead of 50-64 year olds (5%) . In total, according to the survey of Mediametry15% of respondents admit to illegally consuming content between November 2022 and April 2023.

What remains frustrating for ARCOM is that Internet users who consume content in a prohibited manner are also the most aware of blocking measures, since 75% of them admit to being at least aware of them. In the wake of this joint fight with rights holders, ARCOM is not stopping on such a good path and will launch a multi-platform awareness campaign which should start in mid-June. If the progress is there, the road is still long for the ARCOM as the beneficiaries.

Sources: BFM-TV , ARCOM

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