Ajman has joined Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah by stepping up efforts to tackle TV piracy. Ajman’s Department of Economic Development (DED) conducted raids in five shops in the Emirate last month, imposed fines of up to AED10,000 and destroyed a number of confiscated materials including Dish TV India set-top boxes.
The raids were led by Abdullah Ahmad Al Ali and Abdulaziz Qaed Murad from Ajman DED.
The move follows a crackdown on TV piracy in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah that was led by pay-TV network OSN.
Ajman DED also issued a stark warning to all illegal TV service providers underlining that South Asian services such as Dish TV India, TataSky, Sun Direct, Airtel and Reliance decoders are unauthorised and unlicenced in the MENA region. The authorities have also warned against the use of illegal cables, hybrid decoders and digital piracy.
Saud Sultan Al Shimmari, director of the department of control and consumer protection of Ajman DED, said: “We view TV piracy as a serious offence that violates intellectual property rights and causes huge losses to our economy. Ajman DED will vigorously pursue individuals who promote and sell unauthorised and unlicensed TV services. We encourage people to voluntarily refrain from accessing unauthorised TV services. We urge all to come forward and inform us of any such illegal activity so we can take strong measures to curb this menace.
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The action taken by Ajman DED complements the efforts by various DED offices across other emirates in the UAE in confronting TV piracy head-on through raids, and by confiscating illegal TV equipment and issuing hefty fines.
David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said: “We are thankful to Ajman DED for their support and action in addressing TV piracy. Through direct action and a joint approach, we can drive the steady awareness and eradication of TV piracy and ensure the UAE economy doesn’t suffer from this black market trade.
“Addressing TV piracy is important as it also impacts the UAE’s creative industry and adversely affects the economy. It is important to be constantly vigilant to the new techniques illegal operators adopt.”
According to industry reports, TV piracy costs the industry over $500 million every year. OSN has been at the forefront in driving an Anti-Piracy Coalition that has launched a campaign called ‘Do the Right Thing,’ encouraging unauthorised pay-TV subscribers to swap their service for a legitimate and authorised TV services such as those offered by OSN.