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Saudi Arabia release official statement confirming crackdown on TV piracy ‘coinciding’ with WTO report

3 weeks ago
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The government in Saudi Arabia has announced a crackdown on TV piracy.

Sky Sports reporting that a statement on Saudi government social media channels confirmed the action taken.

The broadcaster says that the statement revealed that the Saudi Arabia regime had: ‘recently monitored, examined, and analysed 231 websites that violates Intellectual property law to prevent it from being browsed from the Kingdom.’

The statement adding: ‘Those detected sites included a group of violations, which are downloading and watching movies and series, directly broadcasting sites of encrypted sports channels…’

The more cynical (realistic?) amongst the Newcastle United fanbase will find this quite a ‘coincidence’ in light of events in recent days.

The Saudi Arabia crackdown swiftly following a WTO report that was critical of Saudi Arabia.

Whilst the Newcastle United takeover saga has dragged on for over 11 weeks now after being presented to the Premier League, many informed commentators have still claimed that there were no issues that could prevent Premier League approval and that it was simply a case of political wranglings behind the scenes that would see approval granted AND Saudi Arabia taking action to help ensure that any TV piracy  issues and those concerning intellectual property were minimised as much as possible in that part of the world.

With Newcastle now looking safe on the pitch after a 3-0 win over 10 men Sheffield United, it would be another sweet ‘coincidence if we now saw Premier League approval finally given to the NUFC takeover and we can all then move on to, hopefully, bigger and better things, on and off the pitch.

Sky Sports reporting:

Last week, a World Trade Organisation (WTO) report found that “prominent Saudi nationals” promoted illegal broadcasts by the pirate network beoutQ, contradicting the Saudis’ previous claims that the network, which used footage from Qatari broadcaster beIN, was acting independently of their influence.

Now, in a statement on Government social media channels – Saudi Arabian officials say they have conducted an “online inspection campaign” designed to stop “websites and platforms that violates intellectual property laws including sites broadcast from outside the Kingdom”

The statement said: “SAIP [Saudi Authority For Intellectual Property] recently monitored, examined, and analysed 231 websites that violates Intellectual property law to prevent it from being browsed from the Kingdom.

“Those detected sites included a group of violations, which are downloading and watching movies and series, directly broadcasting sites of encrypted sports channels, downloading books in PDF format sites, downloading and listening to music sites and all been done without obtaining a prior license or authorization from the right holder.

“SAIP has also detected websites that are selling subscriptions for encrypted TV channels through softwares or illicit streaming devices (ISDs) to break barriers for the purpose of displaying materials in illegal ways.”

The Authority said those breaching copyright protection law could incur fines of up to 250,000 Saudi riyals (£54,000), while the website committing the offence could also be closed and those responsible jailed for no longer than six months.

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