UAE seizes 4,000 decoder boxes in landmark raid
Dubai, November 24, 2008
The UAE Ministry of Economy, the main government body in charge of intellectual property (IP) rights protection, supervised raids on two separate Dubai warehouses that led to confiscation of 4,000 illegal Pay TV decoder boxes.
The major haul represents a decisive blow against the local piracy market, said a ministry official.
The ministry acted in response to complaint letters forwarded by the Arabian Anti-piracy Alliance (AAA) from Irdeto Access, a company specialising on the secure delivery of digital content across broadcast, internet, mobile, enterprise and government network platforms.
Irdeto Access lent its full support, particularly its Power of Attorney, to initiate the raids, which the ministry co-ordinated with the Dubai Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
A raiding team of CID policemen found two distributors guilty of violating Irdeto Access’ trademark and IP rights. The proprietors were arrested and criminally charged with violation of the national copyright law.
Minstry general manager Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi said software piracy had become a considerable threat to the society and economy.
"We have been thoroughly studying effective strategies to contain it and have been uncompromising in our offensive against erring vendors. The Ministry intends to maintain Dubai’s status as a model of the national and regional anti-piracy movement and in the process enhance the UAE’s reputation as a regional IT business and investment hub."
"Through partnerships with private interests such as the AAA and other dedicated stakeholders, we will eventually win the war against intellectual property rights violators," he stated.
Steven Kuster from Irdeto Access, said the company was really concerned with how much its services were being brazenly compromised by these illegal decoder box distributors.
"Our commitment to quality digital delivery services drove us to seek governmental assistance," he noted.
"The total number of boxes seized really surprised us and has encouraged us to remain more vigilant against IP violators. We truly appreciate the government’s quick response and full support of this and similar anti-piracy initiatives," he added.
The raids were executed after months of carefully co-ordinated investigations between the ministry and the Dubai Police to identify the warehouses and plan the attack and raised the number of AAA-assisted raids in the region to 71 since February 2008.
He thanked the government, undersecretaries and enforcement agencies for being instrumental in such high-yield raids.
"Their assistance sends a strong message that illegal Pay TV and other IP crimes will not be tolerated in the UAE and will be subject to maximum penalties as allowed by law," he said.
"This was a perfect opportunity for us as well to fine-tune our collaborative strategies with the ministry and thus enhance our ability to mobilize future raids," he noted.
"Overall we are very much pleased by the results of this latest achievement, especially by the eagerness of Irdeto Access to assist in the raids as many victims of IP crimes typically choose to remain silent and unresponsive. This motivates the AAA to further enhance its participation in the fight against piracy,” Scott Butler, AAA chief executive officer added.-TradeArabia News Service