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UAE local fined for TV copyright abuse

Man fined $2,723 for illegally copying TV programs and reselling through subscription website

An Emirati man has been prosecuted by Dubai Court of Misdemeanour for illegally downloading and selling copyright broadcast content from providers Showtime, Art and Orbit through his internet site, Gulf News has reported.

The accused, referred to only as 23-year old AS, was fined Dhs 10,000 ($2,723) for downloading and using the programmes on his website, which was launched three years ago and is called www.dvd4uae.com.

The website itself has also been taken offline for a period of a month.

AS is reported to have unlawfully deciphered encrypted channels from Art, Showtime and Orbit, downloaded a range of different programmes, and then broadcast this content - which included action movies such as Underworld - to paying end users via special forums on his website.

According to the Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAA), which reported AS's Al Ain-based activities to the Dubai Police's anti-cyber crimes unit, AS had been charging his customers approximately $10 (Dhs 36.7) a month for the service.

The Public Prosecution asserted that AS's act was a violation of Federal Law No. 7, 2007, which applies to intellectual property (IP) rights, and Federal Law No. 2, 2006, which was brought in to combat cyber crimes.

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