Dubai Illegal TV service providers in the UAE should start worrying and refrain from infringing intellectual property rights in light of the jailing of an Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) dealer for three months.

In what is believed to be a landmark ruling, the Dubai Misdemeanours Court jailed the defendant for three months for illegally selling IP888 TV services.

The defendant was also fined Dh50,000 for selling pirated TV content, which involved unlicenced and unauthorised distribution of IPTV services in the UAE.

According to the primary ruling, the court said the accused will be deported following the completion of his punishment.

A media statement said on Wednesday that OSN has been leading a successful campaign against the illegal use of Dish TV across the UAE and the GCC.

The ruling remains subject to appeal.

Describing the ruling as a strong message to illegal TV service providers, David Butorac, CEO of OSN, said the government and pertinent authorities take Intellectual Property Right (IPR) infringement seriously.

“Distributing IPTV service in the UAE is illegal and customers must also be vigilant against accessing such a service. We will take strong action and work with the authorities concerned to curb all forms of piracy that impact the industry,” said Butorac.

Meanwhile Omar Obeidat, Head of Intellectual Property at Al Tamimi & Co. law firm, said the UAE is stringent in its IPR laws and the nation is committed to protecting the legal rights of businesses.

“TV piracy is increasingly becoming a menace that impacts the industry adversely. It is important that every stakeholder realises that TV piracy of any form will not be tolerated and stern action will be meted out to perpetrators,” said Obeidat.

The court recently fined a distributor and seller of an illegal IPTV service operating under the name of UKTV Abroad Dh50,000 for pushing pirated feeds of TV channels from the UK. There has been a recent increase in proliferation of illegal IPTV services across the UAE through platforms such as UKTV Abroad, IP888 TV, Primetimetv.TV, Volka TV, Royal IPTV, GIPTV and Expat TV, the statement said.