OSN, a Dubai-based pay-TV firm, has welcomed the ruling of an Egyptian court which ordered a record fine of EP100,000 ($5654) and one-year imprisonment for a man found guilty of illegally distributing and selling stolen entertainment content without holding the required licences.
The Economic Court of Alexandria found the defendant guilty of two charges of setting up an illegal broadcast network as well as breaking intellectual property laws.
The court found that the defendant had been stealing content from OSN channels and illegally re-broadcasting satellite channels via the internet and an illegal cable network.
OSN, whose channels were the subject of the case, hailed the judgement as a major blow to the criminals who are threatening the creative industry in the region.
Sophie Moloney, chief legal officer and spokesperson on content protection, OSN, said: “The judges have sent out a very strong message. Stealing content from OSN, and other legal owners, can land you in jail as well as face very big fines in Egypt.
“We are extremely grateful to the Egyptian Police and enforcement authorities for their hard work on this case. Together we can do a lot to thwart the criminals who steal our content, and help to protect the rights of the creative people who make the wonderful entertainment programmes and movies we all love to watch.”
OSN is part of an industry coalition, comprising broadcasters and satellite operators, who meet regularly to share intelligence on content theft, or piracy, and work together to raise awareness across the MENA region of the impact of this illegal activity.
To date, OSN said it has taken down numerous links that shared stolen content and participated in a significant number of raids across the region.