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AFC steps up fight against IP theft

The Asian Football Confederation is increasing its efforts to fight Intellectual Property theft by appointing experts to further protect the rights of its broadcast and commercial partners.

The AFC has acted as part of a coalition that is seeking to clamp down on the practices of pirate channel beoutQ.

Last month it publicly condemned beoutQ for its broadcast of the Asian Cup national team tournament, accusing it of illegally showing coverage of the competition.

The AFC is now continuing the fight against IP theft and has announced plans to engage market leaders with a view to “further combatting the escalating risk”.

Dato’ Windsor John, the AFC’s general secretary, said: “The AFC values its broadcast and commercial partners and wishes to do everything that it can to protect their rights, so we see this as a logical next step.

“In recent months the AFC has been involved in a coalition of leading international rights-holders, such as Fifa and Uefa as well as some of the top leagues in the world – particularly in the battle over broadcast rights in the Mena region.

“But the question of IP theft runs much wider than just Mena and the AFC prides itself on best practices and good governance and now we are beginning the process of obtaining expert advice on what measures we can take to ensure we remain as leaders in this area.”

AFC commercial rights from 2021 will be brought to market this year by the DDMC Fortis agency, which won out in last year’s hotly-contested tender.