Pay-TV network OSN bolsters anti-piracy efforts in UAE

According to industry reports, TV piracy costs the industry over US$500 million every year

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Pay-TV network OSN has been driving a UAE-based Anti-Piracy Coalition that has launched a campaign called ‘Do the Right Thing,’ encouraging unauthorized pay-TV subscribers to swap their service for a legitimate and authorized TV services.

The pay-TV network led efforts on the crackdown on TV piracy in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, and more recently Ajman's Department of Economic Development (DED) also stepped up efforts to stop illegal providers.

The action taken by Ajman DED follows the efforts of various other DED offices across other Emirates in the UAE in confronting TV piracy head-on through raids, and by confiscating illegal TV equipment and issuing hefty fines.

Ajman DED conducted raids in five shops in the Emirate, and imposed fines of up to AED 10,000 and destroyed a number of confiscated materials including Dish TV India set-top boxes.

Ajman DED issued a warning to all illegal TV service providers underlining that South Asian services such as Dish TV India, TataSky, Sun Direct, Airtel and Reliance decoders are unauthorized and unlicensed in the MENA region. The authorities have also warned against the use of illegal cables, hybrid decoders and digital piracy.

Saud Sultan Al Shimmari, Director of the Department of Control and Consumer Protection of Ajman DED, said in a statement: “We view TV piracy as a serious offence that violates intellectual property rights and causes huge losses to our economy. Ajman DED will vigorously pursue individuals who promote and sell unauthorized and unlicensed TV services.

:We encourage people to voluntarily refrain from accessing unauthorized TV services. We urge all to come forward and inform us of any such illegal activity so we can take strong measures to curb this menace.”

David Butorac, Chief Executive Officer of OSN, said: “We are thankful to Ajman DED for their support and action in addressing TV piracy. Through direct action and a joint approach, we can drive the steady awareness and eradication of TV piracy and ensure the UAE economy doesn’t suffer from this black market trade.

“Addressing TV piracy is important as it also impacts the UAE’s creative industry and adversely affects the economy. It is important to be constantly vigilant to the new techniques illegal operators adopt,” he added.

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