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NBC Takes Aim at Olympics Piracy

NEW YORK: NBC Universal is lining up lawyers to fight any copyright violations of its planned coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, according to Reuters. Concerns were fired when Canadian copyright law landed the country on a U.S. Trade Representative priority watch list. An NBC attorney said Canada was going to face “extreme concern and unhappiness” from rights-holders and the International Olympics Committee if loads of pirated video showed up online and elsewhere. A government official in Canada said the country had passed Olympics trademarks laws two years ago to protect sponsorship and broadcast rights.

NBC has been tightening up the security for live, online access to Olympics coverage, which was prominently featured during the 2008 Beijing Games. Access required users to identify and verify their respective TV providers. An estimated 99 percent of the 2,200 live, streamed hours of video from those games was viewed at NBC Web sites, Reuters said.

A more sophisticated system is reported to be in the works for the Vancouver games. NBC paid around $2 billion for the 2010 Summer and 2012 Winter Games. Web ad revenues are imperative for return on investment. The Vancouver Games are scheduled for next Feb. 12-28.