For those following our work with copyright protection the name Hatton & Berkeley may be eponymous with combating digital piracy; you may be familiar with those efforts specifically relating to peer-to-peer torrenting and online streaming.
For those not so informed, we will expand on the work to date for you here;
February 2014, during the 64th Berlinale film festival; mid-market investment into independent film had by then, it would seem, fallen off a cliff edge.
The industry had been hit hard by financial losses and digital piracy had eroded home entertainment revenues to the nub. Some chose to blame SVOD and OTT services, but the data told a very different story. All work on all platforms was being pirated to a degree not seen previously, with no sign of stopping.
A major characteristic of a market economy in free fall, is the decline of factor markets within the sector that play a dominant role in the allocation of capital and production, both of which were clearly volatile at this time and many, such as sales and distribution components, were failing.
Every now and again a game-changing event occurs within a complex system that governs the decisions of investment, production and distribution throughout. We needed to understand how these systems proliferated, and how their interconnected dependencies increased.
This was a distinct opportunity to example just how process led chaos engineering tools can be designed from the ground up, creating an advanced methodology to combat complex ‘signal and system’ problems.
It is no one’s fault that a solution had not previously been made possible, as it is only with the study of the systemic problem that a solution can be derived from the output of that same study.
But first, a test case
This research was made possible with the revitalisation of the Patents County Court (PCC) and the procedural streamlining of copyright disputes as of October 2013. It is these greater efficiencies that have enabled the advancement of protection for intellectual property rights holders.
In order to design a robust risk mitigation tool, a thorough purview of the statistical mechanics issues were first required; a test case was established with one rights holding vehicle for the research and development purpose of building the system and process of the protection instrument, specifically an insurance wrapper.
It is with some degree of satisfaction, this coup de grâce see’s the end to a perennial debate of whether or not rights holder’s can take these types of copyright infringement cases to court.
Fate it seems is not without a hint of irony, the study of copyright infringement offences we had sought to disrupt, enabled us to create a functional tool for rights holders to combat those same offences.
The study of complex systems of torrenting and streaming activity outside of legal consumption channels has both provided the context in which to create a solution to limit future damage, and seek reparation for historic damage.
It is an understanding of the full value chain of the medium that has enabled the design and implementation of the worlds’ only BTE/ATE Piracy Protection Insurance product, underwritten by an international A rated international insurer.
A balance of probabilities
As many civil procedure experts have rightly asserted, there must be evidence of a balance of probabilities during investigations that first must establish that the plaintiff is correct in bringing any claim against an entity, group, or individual.
An abstraction of digital piracy consumption data provides us with an overview of the complexities of the information, becoming much easier to then navigate.
A strong statistical foundation can then be established in which to better understand the ‘state’ of the complex system (‘affinis’ - connected peers), we are then able to better assess the probability of successfully disrupting the target system.
The use of historic monitoring data is used to test the probability of repeat offenders, narrowing the need for continuous monitoring of a geographic area for repetition and more than likely, referral to local law enforcement.
Playing the zero-sum game
It is known that digital piracy is pervasive and entrenched in our society. This tool is designed specifically to provide a civilising effect on the consumption of digital media.
A ‘mutual assured destruction’ scenario was previously an inevitable outcome to any civil litigation in the UK, bringing with it the real risk of creating a zero-sum game where both claimant and defendant would be equally penalised financially creating an economic ‘non-solution’.
To counter the potential risk to rights holders, we opted for an attritional loss model, a proxy battle of sorts, designed to consolidate intellectual property interests - focussing combined efforts and greatly reducing adverse risk exposure to get over of the zero-sum hurdle.
Quantifying damages on such a large and diverse scale seems near impossible at first glance. In fact, it is quite simple.
Only once consumption data is mapped and cross-referenced over quantitative analysis of lost revenue is it possible, with any degree of certainty, to provide a causation of means as to damages calculation. Put more simply, this is a measure of cause and effect vs cost of recovery.
Calculating backward to obtain an input that would result in a given output can be referred to as a type of what-if analysis, or back-solving. A logical means to quantify these types of damages.
These complex torrent systems are open in nature – where each component is ignorant of the behaviour of the system as a whole. These actions enable relationships to expand via localised interaction, multiplying with each additional connected peer.
Features of the system are that the complexity of the whole is separate to the individual components inside it. The components are localised, and the behaviour of it’s constituent parts characterised by its interactions. Without these interactions, the system does not function as a whole.
The characterisation and definition of the system (a swarm) is the asymmetrical behaviour between input and output, this non-linear transaction of information, represents the ‘state’ of the system.
For further reading and information you can visit www.hb-administration.co.uk for regular updates on this topic.
“Integro is committed to supporting the Film and TV sector and so to help prevent the industry from losing out on hard earned revenue, by tackling the illegal streaming and downloading of content”
Head of UK Sales
Integro Insurance Brokers
“Our exclusive distribution partnership with Integro is a testament to the unique design of this innovative Piracy Protection product… Integro is an expert, independent Lloyd’s broker”
“This is a first of its kind product that tackles a real challenge for the film and entertainment industry, and reduces the risk of enforcing actions”
“The hyperbole surrounding our work on combatting digital piracy is quite remarkable, and certainly as entertaining as the intellectual property it protects”
Hatton & Berkeley