Czech targets cable pirates

Cablers looking to crackdown with legislation, anti-piracy union

PRAGUE — Cable piracy is becoming riskier in the Czech Republic — for the pirates, that is.

EuroSport reportedly has put two local cable companies on warning for pulling its signal off satellite and reselling to customers without payment.

In a separate move, cable distributor KabelNet is developing cases to take legal action against private individuals and businesses who are illegally profiting from the company. KabelNet distributes to some of its customers via wireless cable.

Observers say there is an active cottage industry in selling pirate antennas and receivers. KabelNet has been looking into the problem for some months and expects to take steps by midyear.

Meanwhile, it and other major cable operators in the Czech Republic are in talks about joining the Czech Anti Piracy Union, of which the Motion Picture Assn. is a member.

Cablers are hoping the move will build awareness of the still-thriving piracy industry here, along with creating legislation to aid investigation and prosecution.

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