The UAE has ramped up action against any violations on intellectual property rights. More than 1,000 websites are facing the brunt of that. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: If you are a content creator or in other creative businesses in the UAE, your IP rights will have the full weight of regulatory protection. 


All that you need to do is submit evidence that your intellectual property rights are being violated, and an ‘InstaBlock’ will come into effect against the offender's websites. It also applies to those pirate websites or platforms beaming entertainment or sports games that are licensed to others. 

In other words, zero tolerance for offenders.

The UAE Ministry of Economy has so far blocked 1,117 websites that infringed upon IP rights and violated the rights of publishers of creative content. This has been done in collaboration with TDRA (Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority).

“This has helped in curtailing illegal infringements on broadcasting and publishing rights of creative works, also enhancing awareness on the mechanisms for IP rights protection and swiftly addressing reports in this regard,” said Abdulrahman Hassan Al Muaini, Assistant Undersecretary for IP Rights Sector at the Ministry of Economy.

It also has meant blocking websites and platforms that broadcast content owned by streaming platforms.

The UAE authorities have been tightening the rules on IP rights, introducing best practice measures where possible. And using technology and reach to take on offenders, with immediate effect.

This is where InstaBlock comes in. The initiative was introduced during March, and so far the results are just what the creative industry wanted.

The InstaBlock is part of a new mechanism that monitors infringements on IP rights on websites and ‘promptly blocks the violators’. It also ‘establishes direct communication channels with legal rights holders and takes rapid action against any violations or encroachments on their rights’.

Tougher rules on rights

The UAE Ministry of Economy has in the recent past toughened up rules on online copyright violations and also on consumer rights when using ecommerce channels.

The Ministry has succeeded in upholding the IP rights of leading media platforms that produce/distribute entertainment, sports, and artistic content, including those of Abu Dhabi Media Network, MBC, OSN Network, and BeIN media group

- Statement by UAE Ministry of Economy

There is 'LiveBan' too

The InstaBlock facility is part of 11 initiatives of the Ministry’s new IP system. There is also an immediate response tool called ‘LiveBan’.

This feature is specifically designed to handle complaints related tocopyright infringements via live online broadcasting. "This collaboration between Ministry of Economy, TDRA and rights holders has helped reduce violations on broadcasting and publishing rights of creative works in the digital space," said a statement.

Sources in the video-on-demand streaming industry confirm that there has been a noticeable drop, whether it is pirate portals showing entertainment content or sports events. They add that such illegal streaming activity available to viewers in the UAE was muted during the recently concluded IPL cricket matches played in India.