Dubai - Ruling expected to serve as deterrent for other such providers and strengthen awareness about piracy.
A Dubai court has slapped a Dh50,000 fine on a distributor of UKTV Abroad, an unlicensed and unauthorised IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) service.
Following a copyright infringement complaint filed by OSN against the merchant, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Dubai Police raided their premises and seized digital set-top boxes and decoders.
After examining the evidence, the court ordered that the seized equipment be destroyed.
The dealer, a British national, can appeal the ruling within 10 days.
Lately, there has been increased proliferation of illegal IPTV services in the country through platforms such as UKTV Abroad, IP888 TV, Prime TV and Expat TV. OSN and the authorities have stepped up measures to raise awareness of this issue and clamp down on illegal operators.
David Butorac, chief executive officer of OSN, said: "This is a major victory in our fight against the new and evolving forms of television piracy. It reiterates that distributing and accessing illegal IPTV services is a crime punishable by law.
The court ruling will serve as a deterrent for other such providers and also help strengthen awareness among the public about IPTV piracy.
"The UAE's TV industry is rich and varied with several providers offering legal access to high quality Western content. Illegal IPTV services affect providers who are investing significantly in bringing such content and causing loss to the economy."
The fight against illegal IPTV services has been further "fortified", with government agencies adopting sophisticated equipment to locate law-breaking vendors. Using such illegal services is prohibited by UAE law.