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Middle East and North Africa pay-TV network OSN has secured a number of major successes in its fight against television piracy across the region, having carried out more than 316 raids with the support of government authorities.
On the eve of the World Intellectual Property Day (World IP Day) on April 26, OSN is upping the ante in its fight to curb the menace of TV piracy with concerted plans to cut down on both illegal satellite DTH services as well as the unauthorised distribution of IPTV services. OSN champions anti-TV piracy by spearheading the Anti-Piracy Coalition with leading satellite service providers.
The director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Francis Gurry, said that World Intellectual Property Day was an opportunity to celebrate the creators and innovators who so enrich our world, and who are at the base of our cultural and technological development. “This year, our theme for World IP Day is ‘Digital Creativity: Culture Reimagined’. As we celebrate digital creativity across the world, we should also think about how to find the right balance – one which recognises the importance of creators and innovators to all the progress that we see, culturally and technologically, as a consequence of digital technology, while at the same time ensuring the social benefit of widespread access to their works.”
“The World IP Day underlines the importance of intellectual property rights which are to be upheld to sustain the growth of the creative industry and the entertainment sector,” stated David Butorac, CEO of OSN. “Through our concerted efforts to curb TV piracy highlighted by our ‘Do the Right Thing’ campaign, we have been taking the lead in protecting IP rights with the cooperation of the governmental authorities.”
“Across the region, we see tremendous support from the concerned authorities to curb TV piracy, given the huge loss in revenue to the state exchequers and the negative impact on the creative industry. Having made significant investments in equipment and training, we are using state-of-the-art technology to monitor all forms of TV piracy.”
“We also conduct awareness workshops for the authorities in identifying and curbing TV piracy. Ensuring the IP rights of content providers and creators is ‘doing the right thing,’ and we urge the public to access legal content and to report any instance of television piracy, to help safeguard and drive the growth of the region’s creative sector,” he concluded.
OSN worked with authorities in all Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Oman, as well as in Egypt and Jordan to conduct the anti-piracy raids. This resulted in a significant reduction in the illegal distribution of pirated TV services.
In major wins, several unauthorised operators were fined, shops closed and equipment confiscated. More than 86,487 illegal videos were removed from YouTube/Dailymotion, and over 2,272 advertisements of pirated boxes were removed from online markets. Further, 829 FTA (Free to Air) channel copyright infringements were detected and reported back to the satellite operators/distributors.
While the fight against illegal DTH services has been stepped up, OSN has also secured a significant victory in its fight against illegal IPTV services, achieving a court conviction against an illegal provider in Dubai. This marked the first time a court in the region has issued a conviction for TV piracy involving the unlicensed and unauthorised distribution of IPTV services in the UAE.
OSN also stepped up anti-piracy raids in Egypt, carrying out successful raids against illegal TV operators in Cairo and Alexandria.