Intellectual Property violation is an out breaking criminal offense in the UAE. Many traders sold unlocked set-top-boxes which given access to several free exclusive channels. The circumstances fall under the Federal Copyright Law No. 7 and Federal Trademark Law No. 37 of protection laws of IP which considered acting against the trades for such criminal activities. Formal charges under Federal Law No. 3 of 2003 must be made if any guilty is found and caught stated by Harfan and Doudar (2017). It was declared a fine of 50,000 AED as compensation (For victim) including a 6 months sentence by Court of Law; furthermore, ordered to deport the person from the country.
The UAE court considers IP violations as an extremely serious issue along with treats with required steps to make punishment. A fine of 20,000 AED with compensation for abusing against the sufferer including deportation from UAE to any other country is entitled as a punishment of breaking copyright law.
Case Study of UKTV
A few days back OSN TV filed a complaint against a channel distributor which came as a case under breaching copyright law. The distributor was found to broadcast exclusive UK channels to its customers totally free of cost. The suspect was charged for selling IP888 illegally to customers without having any authorization and license of IPTV (Internal Protocol Television) provider (tradearabia.com, 2019). The person was a British National and supplied unauthorized content to the public and seen unlawfully selling set-top-boxes.
This issue led Dubai Misdemeanors Court to charge the suspect with 50,000 AED as a fine, a sentence for 6 months and deported from UAE after completing the sentence. Ten days had been given to the person to appeal to the court; and, all the set-to-boxes and digital instruments those found from the place of distributor were ordered to destroy. The Dubai Police got all necessary proofs from the spot regarding the complaint of OSN TV (tradearabia.com, 2019). The punishment was given under Federal Act No. 7 of the UAE and made an example to warn all the people involved with relevant criminal activities.
Brief Analysis of the Case Study
The case study shows that the British National distributed unlicensed and unauthorized IPTV (Internal Protocol Television) to clients which made them be able to connect and watch exclusive channels of UKTV with a free price of cost. This study confirms the enforcing an incredibly severe punishment for disobeying Intellectual Property (IP) Law and this scenario was an act of breach of the copyright law under Federal Law No. 7 of 2002. A rapid surprise charge was made by the police to verify the complaint made by OSN TV. It was observed by the OSN TV that; they were losing the client and they made a study on finding the reason of this issue and brought out with the result that their potential and existing customers having a free of access to exclusive channels whereas they render the same service with fees on them. However, they identified that the British distributor is not authorized as well as has no license as a UKTV channels provider; in contrast, OSN TV follows the rules and regulations and has proper license and authorization. This issue made them a loss of customers for the illegal selling of IPTV by the distributor, which made them file a complaint.
It is additionally stated that Federal Law No. 3, bans any illegal trade of copyrighted channel and restricts any person involved in it. OSN TV fought for themselves as well as to protect from illegal and piracy distribution to secure the national benefit. This is believed by the Head of Telecommunication that, the economy as a whole becomes a victim at a time when the distributor becomes a victim of these violations of laws. This situation makes a loss on the legitimate investment of authorized distributor, which is not expected. To make the result of this kind issues an example, and to aware and warn the future suspects, The UAE Court made a strong action on this. The illegal distributor got a punishment of a fine of 50,000 AED with 6 months sentence along with an order of deporting the country after completing the sentence. Similar nature of a harsh lawsuit will be applicable to any person or organization who will be involved in the further breaking of copyright laws.
Impact on Consumers and OSN TV
It is also a foremost duty of a customer to be aware of the issue to know that if the service provider from whom they are receiving any kind of services is legally formed and authorized or not. If not, then the customer shall not pursue any service from that service provider or producer just to sake the benefit of price. The case discussed earlier shows that with the supplier the users also become a sufferer. As the equipment (set-top-boxes) they have purchased becomes useless which means the loss of investment. However, they had to get back or pursue the service with fees and to invest in making procurement of a new setup.
In contrast, for approaching in securing of legal issue OSN TV got a reward against the loss they made. They have got a huge compensation counted 50,000 AED; by which they would be able to extend their service and operation (gulfnews.com, 2019). All the steps of OSN TV made a brand image; a raise of client base including increases in revenue – occurred mostly for following the legal aspects and being authorized and a licensed distributor.
This situation could be avoided if the distributor would take legally authorization and license or following the proper registration processes for distributing IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) to the customer. Simply, go after with these steps would take to the path of complying with the existing copyright laws in UAE. And, this would help the person to be safe from a huge loss of investment and at a time punishment and social respect.
Necessary campaigns and awareness programs can be arranged more by the government to make customers more responsible for these issues to act properly. Also, to save the country’s economy the approaches like OSN TV shall be motivated more so that probable risks can be reduced.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) proved its proper attitude to secure the Intellectual Property Laws and controlling all necessary violations against them. IP Laws in UAE are unique in the manner and different from existing laws in other countries as they state no automatic transfer of rights and no waiving of the moral rights of the authors; also includes no future assignment of copyrights without any written instruments. Moreover, people get restrictions on trade counterfeited items in UAE; to deal with this; UAE introduced and established anti-commercial law. These laws restrict and reduce the violations in UAE. However, we have seen from the case study that, how strongly and mercilessly the illegal distributor got punished by the UAE Court. Hence, following all the orders and laws in UAE is important. These strict controls bring over a suitable business environment in UAE; where UAE Copyright Law is considered an essential part of it.