The Dubai Court has imposed a fine of Dh50,000 (€12,300) on a distributor of UKTV Abroad packages, an unlicensed and unauthorised IPTV service in the UAE.
Pay-TV operator OSN filed a copyright infringement complaint against the service provider, with the Dubai Criminal Investigation Department (CID) subsequently carrying out a raid and subsequently bringing court proceedings against the distributor.
The court ordered that all the digital set-top boxes/decoders confiscated from the vendor be destroyed. The dealer, a British national, can appeal the ruling within 10 days.
David Butorac, chief executive officer of OSN, noted that the pay-TV operator and the authorities have stepped up measures to make the public aware and clamp down on illegal operators.
“This is a major victory in our fight against the new and evolving forms of television piracy. It reiterates that distributing and accessing illegal IPTV services is a crime punishable by law. The court ruling will serve as a deterrent for other such providers and also help strengthen awareness among the public about IPTV piracy,” he declared.
“The UAE’s TV industry is rich and varied with several providers offering legal access to high quality Western content. Illegal IPTV services affect providers who are investing significantly in bringing such content and causing loss to the economy,”he added.
OSN has been leading efforts to curb TV piracy through its ‘Do the Right Thing’ initiative, which warns against the illegal reception of copyrighted programming.