Streaming P2P TV Piracy Big In China


China has become the hotbed of P2P streaming distribution of live TV signals, exposing the world’s pay-TV operators to the kind of online piracy that has plagued the music and movie businesses, reports WSJ.
A rising number of people in China are using these online methods to watch channels such as HBO, ESPN and MTV, and now the practice is spreading to Europe, where users have begun tapping into the Chinese services to watch European soccer matches unavailable on their local TV channels.
Among the biggest such programs is one from Coolstream, where an NBA game featuring star Yao Ming drew about 50,000 simultaneous P2P viewers. The free software, which Coolstreaming considers a test network for technology it aims to sell commercially, has been downloaded 1.5 million times
Coolstreaming’s site proudly displays the HBO and ESPN logos, and it recently promoted a feature starring Ben Affleck and Uma Thurman (though the promo didn’t name the film). Yet the site carries a disclaimer stating “ honors the copyright of all video/audio programs.” PPLive, another Chinese service, publishes a program guide on its Web site for viewers’ convenience.

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