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Media groups move to persuade US trade rep on Saudi malfeasance

A group of media companies and sports rightsholders including BeIN Media have made submissions to the Office of the United States Trade Representative  (USTR) calling for Saudi Arabia to be identified as a Priority Foreign Country or for it to be placed on the US Priority Watch List as a result of its alleged continued support for broadcast piracy.

BeIN and film studio Miramax both filed detailed submissions to the USTR, which is responsible for advancing US trade policy and resolving disputes with countries that do not follow the rules of international trade agreements

Others filing submissions included the Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance, representing 26 audiovisual organisations; the Sports Coalition, on behalf of six major US sports leagues; the NBA and US Tennis Association; and international broadcasters Sky and Canal+.

The organisations involved allege that pirate organisation BeoutQ has operated  its pirate operation in Saudi Arabia with the full knowledge of the Saudi Government, with several submissions asserting that the Saudi Government offers a “safe haven” for piracy that has now spread across Europe and the US.

Separately, the US Chamber of Commerce and the International Intellectual Property Alliance filed submissions noting the threat posed by BeoutQ piracy.

BeIN Media has been waging a campaign to achieve wider international support in combatting BeoutQ’ piracy of copyrighted material, including premium sports rights, which the Qatar-based outfit claims is politically motivated as part of Saudi Arabia’s campaign to isolate Qatar.