DUBAI UAE cable distributors have launched a campaign against channel piracy with the help of local authorities to catch those who have opted for illegal satellite pay-TV connections. They are targeting expats, especially from the subcontinent, returning to Dubai with direct-to-home (DTH) satellite receivers.
So far over 200 such receivers have been confiscated by the Customs at the Dubai International Airport following a ban notice on the same that was issued three weeks ago. This was just prior to the Cricket World Cup — a mustsee event for many expats from the subcontinent.
Arab Digital Distribution (ADD) and E-Vision in conjunction with the authorities, such as Arabian Anti Piracy Alliance (AAA) and Dubai Customs have in the meantime stepped up monitoring of illegal redistribution of signals through illegal receivers and illegal viewing in public areas.
“One of the recent additions to channel piracy has been the illegal import of Indian DTH receivers and smart cards,” says Vinod D’Mello, Executive Vice-President, Group Strategy and Planning, ADD, provider of e-Pehla packages. He says that the alliance is taking measures to reduce illegal viewing of TV channels to safeguard the intellectual property rights (IPR) of local cable operators during the high-viewership season.
“The UAE government has instructed the Customs authorities to confiscate the receivers at the airport,” says D’Mello. “In the last few days, there have been repeated seizures and the people who have bought these receivers from India have been left ruing their lost money.”
Earlier, there were no restrictions on Indians bringing in these receivers, commercially available from Dish TV and Tata Sky in India, to Dubai.
In UAE, and also across the GCC, these satellite receivers are able to pick up direct broadcast transmissions from India due to an extended satellite reception in the region.
Many expats from the subcontinent prefer these portable Indian satellite receivers for practical reasons as they offer more than 150 homegrown TV channels for a price that is three times cheaper than the price package available here.
Meanwhile, cable distributors here have expressed confidence in the ongoing battle against signal theft, dismissing reports that a large section of their customers had unsubscribed or degraded their subscription.
“A few among them may have been prompted to go in for such illegal receivers,” says Humaid Rashid Sahoo, CEO, E-Vision. E-Vision is in partnership with ADD in providing e-Pehla. “We are confident that our customers will appreciate the high level of service quality and customer service that E-Vision provides,” adds Sahoo.
“There may have been a small percentage of our subscribers who have discontinued their subscription, but the majority has been content with our programming quality,” says D’Mello.
Officials from ADD and E-Vision say that they continue to receive reports of individuals and institutions violating the law across the GCC. Their only warning to unauthorised viewers and distributors is that the practice is illegal and can lead to prosecution under UAE laws.
The IPR infringement penalty is imprisonment, deportation and a fine up to Dh 50,000.
But most of the returning expatriates carrying these items are unaware of the ban which was implemented three weeks ago, the same time the cricket fever pitched in.
“I saw a notice posted just after the immigration counter. It said that receivers such as the one I was carrying was not allowed and it should be declared,” said a returning Indian expatriate who was asked to surrender his receiver. “I know people have been carrying these before, I thought it’s not a problem.”
You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.
Its good to keep up and well updated on the laws, else one finds him/her in the gallows within minutes.
thanks mj for the updates
hope this was the law even before, and was not being implemented, till peak time (cricket). otherwise its not easy to pass that kind of law just in between one/two months.
those who can study that law will give you the loopholes if need be
and that means they'll always pull you out of the gallows using the same laws.
Dstv HD PVR
There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)