Orbit-Showtime chief backs Bahrain piracy blitz

Government authorities step up action against the Dreambox.
AAA, ART, Bahrain TRA, Dreambox, Marc-Antoine d'halluin, Orbit Showtime, Piracy, Scott Butler, News, Broadcast Business

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Orbit Showtime has welcomed the recent crackdown on websites enabling the Dreambox satellite TV receiver by authorities in Bahrain, however calls remain for stronger action against the physical distribution of the hardware itself.

The Dreambox can be used in conjunction with a signal of codewords streamed over the internet, to access encrypted pay TV channels.

“Dreamboxes are illegal STBs giving illegal access to Orbit Showtime channels,” said Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, CEO, Orbit Showtime, speaking exclusively to DPME.com.. “It is theft of intellectual property rights (IPR), and the Middle East is now fast joining the markets defending IPR holders. This will enable the development of a local movie and TV production industry, a much needed dimension of the region’s progression.”

Last month the country’s Telecommunication’s Regulatory Authority (TRA) ordered the internet service providers to block websites that enabled illegal access to pay TV signals and channels from outside the region broadcasting content unsuitable for the region.

“We are thankful to the local authorities that have taken these fundamental anti-piracy actions,” added d’Halluin.

Despite these efforts Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance CEO Scott Butler called for a clampdown on the availability of the Dreambox hardware itself.

Speaking to Bahrian-based newspaper Gulf Daily News, Butler said the country needed to follow the same course as the UAE and Saudi Arabia by bringing criminal charges against those distributing Dreamboxes and similar devices.

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