As it attempts to strengthen the fight against piracy, the MENA Broadcast Anti-Piracy Coalition has convened to develop strategies to reduce the number of infringements and to prevent notoriously rogue pirate channel operators.
As major stakeholders in the Middle East Satellite TV industry, the members of the Coalition, which was formed in March 2014, share information and align strategies to prevent copyright infringement in the Middle East. Piracy has always been a huge issue in the MENA region: the Coalition says that statistics show that over the past six months a total of almost 200 Western content infringements and over 4,000 Arabic content infringements occurred.
In its ninth meeting in Amsterdam, the Coalition gathered MENA stakeholders from the satellite broadcast industry such as Eutelsat, Arabsat and Gulfsat —as well as content producers and distributors including MBC, OSN, Rotana, ART, CNE and the MPA. The members agreed that co-operation between the stakeholders had to be a key priority.
The meeting also revealed that pirate channels were operated by a handful of individuals and agreed on how better to identify and take actions against them.“Satellite TV piracy has relied upon everyone ignoring or being ignorant of the rules, of the individuals behind the pirate channels and of the major companies who profit by selling services to the pirates. Our coalition is step by step removing the cloak from this murky sector,” remarked MBC Group CEO Sam Barnett. “We are very encouraged by the progress made so far by this important coalition but it is equally clear that all lot still needs to be done," added Okke Delfos Visser, head of the legal department of the MPA in Europe, Middle East and Africa. “It has been our experience that progress in this area can only be made when stakeholders constructively work with each other. Curbing TV piracy is essential to keep growing legitimate TV channels thereby enhancing the consumers’ viewing experience, reinvesting money into the creation of new high-quality content and securing millions of jobs worldwide.”