Marking a regional first, leading broadcasters, satellite operators and service providers across the MENA have joined forces under the ‘Anti-Piracy Coalition,’ to address and combat all forms of piracy that impact the sector.
Key industry players including OSN, Motion Picture Association of America (MPA), MBC Group, du, STN, JMC, Nilesat, Arabsat, Noorsat, Eutelsat, and Viewsat will work alongside content owners, distributors, satellite owners, satellite service providers, and advertisers, to raise awareness about the impact of piracy on the region’s burgeoning television industry.
Driven by a common goal to protect intellectual property rights, members of the ‘Anti-Piracy Coalition’ have outlined a voluntary code of conduct, while publically associating themselves as active representatives of the coalition.
The ‘Anti-Piracy Coalition’ will monitor piracy on satellite TV, ensure information about pirate channels is shared among legitimate industry players and coordinate action against the pirates.
David Butorac, Chief Executive Officer, OSN, said: “The region’s television landscape has evolved significantly, and this growth has been spurred by the creation of original content. Intellectual Property Crime is not a victimless crime. It inhibits the capacity for companies like ours to invest to create a viable and robust entertainment industry, something this region deserves. Through the ‘Anti-Piracy Coalition,’ we will work with leaders from the industry and carry out a concerted effort to crack down on piracy.”
Within the same context, Sam Barnett, Chief Executive Officer, MBC Group, added: “Pirate channels are stealing hundreds of movies a week and broadcasting them across tens of millions of homes. But, the really surprising fact is that a few otherwise respectable companies are assisting and supporting them to do this. Our coalition will help raise awareness of the issue, galvanise support from the legitimate industry and hopefully make life tougher for the pirates.”
While several broadcasters have been active in contributing to the fight against piracy, the formation of the ‘Anti-Piracy Coalition’ underlines the growing need to address the effects of piracy in all forms.
Previously, piracy had been seen to affect pay-TV operators, however today, the entire broadcast industry in the Middle East and North Africa are at risk.
The ‘Anti-Piracy Coalition’ will adopt an all-inclusive approach - working with willing Satellite operators, advertisers, studios and broadcasters to stop the pirate channels.
(L-R): Maaz Sheikh, Chief Sales and Operations Officer, OSN - Michael Freundlich, Deputy General Counsel , Eutelsat - Mahesh Jaishankar, Vice President Datamena & Broadcast Commercial, du - Sam Barnett, CEO, MBC- Radi Al Khas, CEO, JMC - Rawand Al Zoubi, Vice President for Legal Affairs, Noorsat- Andrej Lovsin, CEO, STN - Omar Shoter, CEO, NOORSAT- David Butorac, CEO, OSN- Okke Delfos Visser, VP - Head Legal Department, MPA- Sarah Van Reempts, Legal Counsel, MPA- Nabil Shanti, VP Marketing and Customer Service, Arabsat.