Raids have been conducted by the Kuwaiti authorities in the commercial centre and satellite market, after Pay-TV network OSN joined hands with the Kuwaiti Ministry of Commerce and Industry to tackle TV piracy and distribution of unauthorised TV decoders in the country.
Dish TV is one of the major piracy concerns in Kuwait with many South Asian expatriates using the service illegally. The recent raids led to the confiscation of decoders belonging to unlicensed, unauthorised and illegitimate India-based DTH service Dish TV. Police also gathered further evidence by activating the Dish TV smartcards. The shopkeeper was arrested for questioning by the Kuwaiti Crime Investigation Department.
The raids in Kuwait follow widespread success in tackling TV piracy through a series of raids, fines and convictions in others parts of the GCC.
David Butorac, chief executive officer of OSN, said: “The raids demonstrate that the fight against illegal TV piracy isn’t just confined to one or two countries but is a region-wide issue that needs co-operation from a number of agencies and the public at large. As the Kuwaiti authorities have outlined, perpetrators can expect tough penalties for flouting the law as the campaign to stamp out TV piracy gains momentum and awareness across the region increases.”
Omar Al Qahtani, senior associate, Al Tamimi & Co. Kuwait, added: “Operating Dish TV decoders is forbidden in Kuwait – their content licensing contracts, broadcast license and satellite contracts are limited to its origin in India. We will endeavour to target those who operate outside the law to bring an end to this illegal practice."
Al Qahtani continued: "As a governing authority, we will continue to work with partners such as OSN to protect intellectual property rights and will not tolerate any form of activity that infringes on them. In addition to confiscating illegal decoders and equipment, operating in this illegal trade will lead to the closure of shops and fines being issued.”