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Abu Dhabi jails pirate website operator

The Abu Dhabi Court has convicted the administrator of a pirate website for illegally uploading torrents and facilitating illegal streaming of copyrighted television series, movies, and misusing OSN’s intellectual property rights. OSN is a leading pay-TV platform in the region.

The Court passed judgment sentencing the pirate to six months in jail followed by deportation to his home country. The pirate was also ordered to pay Dh50,000 ($13,610) as compensation to OSN for copyright and trademark infringement by illegally uploading torrents and facilitating illegal downloading of content using the pirate website. As per the court’s order, the Prosecutor’s Office will work with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to block the pirate website. The pirate was initially imprisoned for about two months and has since appealed the verdict.

Sophie Moloney, general counsel of OSN, said: “The authorities have adopted extreme vigilance to all forms of television piracy, which has resulted in websites streaming illegal content being blocked in the UAE. Stealing movies or television series is an offence, whether it is online or as DVDs from a shop, and the authorities recognise that the financial impact on the legitimate copyright owners will be the same.”

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