Middle East pay TV operator OSN has hailed the decision of a UAE court to reject an appeal against the sentencing for piracy of an illicit DishTV India dealer in the country.
The UAE’s highest Court, the Court of Cassation, sentenced the dealer to three-months imprisonment and a fine of AED 50,000 for infringing the copyrights and related intellectual property of OSN, which holds the regional rights to content that DishTV also airs.
According to OSN, the dealer was caught by the authorities during a raid and over 2,000 illegal set top boxes, smart cards and a substantial amount of cash was seized.
The court also upheld a decision to destroy all the confiscated DishTV India set top boxes, smart cards and remote-control units. The convicted dealer must also publish the judgment in a local newspaper at his cost, pay the court fees and compensation to OSN.
The Court said that the convicted dealer had infringed upon the copyright and intellectual property of OSN by unlawfully importing and selling devices and recharging subscriptions of DishTV India.
OSN has been in dispute with DishTV India itself, and Indian mobile operator Airtel, over the sale of services in the UAE and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries and has taken legal action in multiple jurisdictions.
OSN has also filed suit for infringement and damages before the Delhi High Court and obtained an injunction against Dish TV India preventing the latter from exporting their set top boxes to countries outside India and receiving any subscription 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.”
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