UAE jails OSN pirates
March 12, 2019
By Chris Forrester
A pay-TV pirate has been fined AED 50,000 (about €12,000) and sentenced to 3 months in prison for infringing OSN’s copyrights and intellectual property rights.
The dealer was pirating output from India’s Dish TV in the Emirates.
However, the fine is extraordinarily modest considering that the pirate was found with more than 2000 illegal set-top boxes, smart cards and – according to the authorities – a substantial amount of cash in his possession.
The set-top boxes and smart cards were destroyed, and the dealer must pay compensation to OSN.
OSN has been trying to stop the illegal sale of DishTV India and Bharti Airtel receivers in the UAE, and other GCC countries. OSN has also filed lawsuits for infringement of its copyrights and damages at the Delhi High Court and has already obtained an injunction against DishTV India which prevents Dish from exporting their receivers to countries outside India and from receiving any subs revenue from outside India.
Simon Wilkes, General Counsel, of OSN, said: “We are thankful to the Courts for their unambiguous verdict against TV piracy. The ruling sends a very clear message that selling Dish TV India subscriptions in the UAE is criminal, and any dealers doing so will be prosecuted. We hope that the stern and decisive actions being taken will continue to discourage the practice of selling or using pirate IPTV decoders and DishTV India in the UAE. The Public Prosecutor’s Office, Department of Economic Development in Sharjah, Sharjah Police and the Dubai Forensics Laboratory have given their full support in the fight against piracy, and this ruling is another testament to the commitment and resolve of the UAE to uphold copyright law and protect the interests of lawful businesses.”