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A number of satellite dishes on top of a residential building in Dubai. People are still watching content illegally. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE’s highest Court, the Court of Cassation, has rejected the appeal by an illegal DishTV India dealer and sentenced him to three-months imprisonment and a fine of Dh50,000 for infringing the copyrights and related intellectual property of OSN.

The dealer was caught by the authorities during a raid and over 2,000 illegal set top boxes, smart cards and a substantial amount of cash was seized.

In addition to the jail term and fine, the court upheld the decision to destroy all the confiscated DishTV India set top boxes, smart cards and remote control units.

The court also ordered the convicted dealer to also publish the judgment in a local newspaper at his cost, pay the court fees and compensation to OSN.

Simon Wilkes, General Counsel of OSN, said: “We are thankful to the Courts for their unambiguous verdict against TV piracy. The ruling sends a very clear message that selling Dish TV India subscriptions in the UAE is criminal, and any dealers doing so will be prosecuted”.

DishTV India Ltd. is a company providing Direct to Home television service in India. It is a subsidiary of Zee Entertainment Enterprises.

“We hope that the stern and decisive actions being taken will continue to discourage the practice of selling or using pirate IPTV decoders and DishTV India in the UAE,” said Wilkes.

“The Public Prosecutor’s Office, Department of Economic Development in Sharjah, Sharjah Police and the Dubai Forensics Laboratory have given their full support in the fight against piracy, and this ruling is another testament to the commitment and resolve of the UAE to uphold copyright law and protect the interests of lawful businesses”.

In its verdict, the Court said that the convicted dealer had infringed upon the copyright and intellectual property of OSN by unlawfully importing and selling devices and recharging subscriptions of DishTV India.

In a statement, OSN explained that it has been fighting against the illegal sale and operation of DishTV India and Airtel in the UAE, and other GCC countries which has led to legal actions and judgments across the GCC.

OSN has also filed suit for infringement and damages before the Delhi High Court and obtained an injunction against DishTV India preventing them from exporting their set top boxes to countries outside India and receiving any subscription revenue from outside India.