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Saudi authorities close 231 broadcast piracy websites

MBC Group commends the decisive measures by Saudi authorities in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR) and combating piracy

Saudi authorities close 231 broadcast piracy websites
David Rangel / Unsplash
The illegally run pirate websites had originated from both inside and outside of KSA [Representation image].

MBC has lauded the efforts of the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property (SAIP), the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), and the General Commission of Audiovisual Media (GCAM), for their collaborative efforts in combating copyright piracy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

In an ongoing mission the SAIP, in coordination with the other agencies involved, was successful in closing 231 illegally-run websites that were pirating and streaming content, including that owned by MBC.

The websites had originated from both inside and outside of KSA.

A number of decisive measures have been announced pertaining to the closure, by CITC, of the latest group of illegally-run websites, including but not limited to suspension or blocking of websites; removal of encroachments; financial penalties or imprisonment of offenders.

During the investigations, it emerged that some of the illegally-run websites included those charging subscriptions for content they do not own, as well as streaming satellite TV channels via Internet Protocol television (IPTV). Others used other illegally sourced content, including media and music.

In a press statement MBC said that forging closer ties with telecommunications regulators and other entities is an effective way to tackle content piracy. The broadcasters also affirmed that one if its key pillars is to protect producers, writers, content creators and others in the sector.

The statement said: "Copyright piracy is a serious problem that affects the media and broadcast industry – including film, cinema, television, sports licensing and music – one that undermines the progress of a healthy content production ecosystem. It has a negative effect on media companies’ ability to invest in and monetise its content, and in turn thrive and develop. In Saudi Arabia, piracy is classified as theft. In sum, these strategic IP protection measures contribute to consolidating the media and entertainment industry – thus building knowledge economies, attracting investments, producing more premium content and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs."

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