Pirated goods seller to be jailed in Saudi Arabia

This is the first time a prison sentence has been given to someone selling pirated goods

Tags: Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance AAASaudi ArabiaSoftware piracy
  • E-Mail
Pirated goods seller to be jailed in Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabian Board of Grievances has upheld the recommendation of the Ministry of Information to jail a seller of pirated goods.
By  Georgina Enzer Published  February 29, 2012

Saudi Arabia's Board of Grievances (BoG) has upheld the recommendation of the Ministry of Information to jail a seller of pirated goods for a period of 10 days.

The landmark conviction has been hailed by the Arabian Anti Piracy Alliance (AAA) as a warning to merchants to strictly comply with KSA's piracy laws, while serving as a deterrent to would-be violators.

"The adjudication of this case is a very important victory for anti-piracy advocates as it is the first-ever court judgement in KSA resulting in imprisonment. The judgement is a strong deterrent to prevent such criminal activities from proliferating in the country, knowing that the Saudi judiciary is prepared to apply the full extent of the law in trying cases related to piracy. Pirate activities have already resulted in huge losses for the Saudi economy, with studies indicating that reduction of piracy rates could have potentially yielded up to USD 1 billion in GDP in the past two years. This clearly represents a huge incentive for the Saudi Government to step up its efforts to break up pirate syndicates. For our part, the AAA along with our strategic partners is certainly eager to provide all necessary support to ensure that anti-piracy laws are strictly enforced in the country," said Scott Butler, AAA chief executive officer.

The convicted pirated goods seller was selling pirated videos and his warehouse and shop had been raided a total of seven times since 2006, resulting in the seizure of over 100,000 counterfeit products, as well as the equipment used to reproduce goods.

The first six offences resulted in escalating fines by the Violation Review Committee and following the seventh raid in 2010, the Minister of Information recommended imprisonment to the Board of Grievances.

Saudi Arabia has recorded the highest piracy rate in the GCC at 60% according to the AAA.

The Piracy Law Fear Factor survey commissioned by AAA and participated by intellectual property rights holders from the Business Software Alliance, electronic games industry, Pay TVs and movie industry, revealed that up to 89% of respondents believe that owners of businesses engaged in piracy will not get imprisoned in KSA, while 67% of respondents believe that imprisonment will help solve the problem of piracy in the country.

2672 days ago

Quite right, but of course this is a 'rich' hypocritical joke. The Ministry of Information, in these areas have never paid a single cent royalty to the artists whose music and work they pirate day in day out on their monopoly broadcast channels.
The incompetent civil servants who are elevated into the management position have no perception or notion of creative license for intangible product. Never have, never will.
Similar threats are made in neighbouring countries but nothing is ever done and even advertising agencies use copyrighted material ad nauseam with impunity.
Goodness me, in Bahrain in a seemingly obvious corrupt, absurd scenario, an absolute monopoly has carte blanche over a monopoly. For the last 6 odd years a Lebanese company have managed to control and manipulate the entire commercial broadcasting air space to saturate the channels both radio and tv with cheap amateur advertising making absolutely millions. Not a single cent in royalty ever paid. Furthermore, they have just been allowed to sign off another decade or so no doubt. It is outrageous but authorities have no perception of the travesty. The artists (who create the songs they play as a commercial platform to attract the advertising) get zilch!

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code