Dubai: Dubai Court has imposed a fine of Dh50,000 on a distributor of UKTV (British broadcasting television network) Abroad packages, an unlicensed and unauthorised internet Protocol Television (IPTV) service in the UAE,

Following a copyright infringement complaint filed by OSN TV network against the merchant, the Dubai Criminal Investigation Department (CID) conducted a raid on the provider and presented evidence before the court.

The court ordered that all the digital set-top boxes/decoders confiscated from the vendor be destroyed. The dealer, a British national, can appeal the ruling within 10 days.

There has been an increase in proliferation of illegal IPTV services in the country through platforms such as UKTV Abroad, IP888 TV, Prime TV and Expat TV.

David Butorac, Chief Executive Officer of OSN, said this is a major victory in OSN’s fight against 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 to 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,” he said.

The fight against illegal IPTV services has been further fortified with governmental agencies adopting sophisticated equipment to locate law-breaking vendors effortlessly.

The authorities have urged the public to be cautious in using such illegal services as accessing content is also prohibited by UAE law.