Qatar-based pay TV operator BeIN Media has secured a victory in its battle with piracy following a Swedish court handing prison sentences and fines to three individuals behind Arabic-region pirate outfit Advanced TV Network (ATN).
The conviction follows a complaint filed by Nordic antipiracy group Nordic Content Protection in 2016. The trio behind ATN have now been handed prison terms ranging form one year to two and a half years, subject to appeal, and ordered to pay €18.8 million in damages to BeIN Media Group.
The three were also ordered to pay €1.4 million to Albanian pay TV outfit Digitalb, which had also been a victim of ATN’s piracy.
Malmö-based ATN intercepted broadcasts and decoded, packaged and retransmitted them to its own subscriber base. The network provided customers with access to illegal streams of over 2,000 channels, with a focus on channels from the Middle East and Turkey.
During the current football World Cup, ATN also re-streamed coverage from Saudi Arabia-based pirate channel BeoutQ.
“We are delighted that the Swedish courts have taken a strong stance against the industrial piracy perpetrated by ATN. Our membership is comprised of the leading broadcasters and content makers in the Nordic region and we all share a common concern about the growing rate and sophistication of broadcast piracy,” said Anders Braf, CEO of Nordic Content Protection.
“Not only does it present a serious threat to the funding of the television and film industries, it also threatens the funding of sports and entertainment rights holders. The prison sentences and record fines handed down in this case send a clear message to broadcast pirates – the industry is taking action and we will use the full extent of the law to see offenders brought to justice.”