Women’s World Cup piracy sees French court declare Arabsat as beoutQ distributor | Security | News | Rapid TV News
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After denying that it had any connection with the Saudi Arabia-based pirate operation, Saudi satellite operator Arabsat has been identified in a French court of law as the distributor of the beoutQ service.
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The ruling came as part of case brought by Qatar-based broadcaster beIN Media Group in which it was alleged that every single game so far of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 in France has been illegally shown on beoutQ. beIN said that it brought it case before the President of the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris in France because it has to date been denied any legal recourse in Saudi Arabia where the pirate operation is based. beIN added that the purpose of its case was to establish in a court of law that, despite its denials, Arabsat has been carrying beoutQ’s pirate broadcasts. This it claims was established definitively 12 months ago in legal action by Cisco Systems, NAGRA and Overon.

The broadcaster regards the ruling as a major breakthrough in its fight against beoutQ. It noted that even though Arabsat has consistently denied any involvement with the pirate firm, beoutQ has since 2017 openly advertised on Arabsat’s Facebook and social media channels at the relevant Arabsat frequencies. In addition, beIN alleges Arabsat has ignored legal take-down notices from international broadcasters and rights-holders. In January 2019, beIN Media  published a ‘reveal all’ website exposing what it calls “the industrial scale theft of world sports and entertainment” by pirate TV network beoutQ.

In its ruling confirming Arabsat’s involvement, the Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris said: “The reports conclude that the beoutQ channels were available on 18 June and 24 June 2018 on frequency 11919 MHz H and frequency 12207 MHz V via the Badr-4 satellite, operated by Arabsat...It also appears from Arabsat's own website that its Badr-4 satellite covers the MENA region and according to the footprint shown in the diagram of the site, its coverage also extends to parts of Europe, including the far south of France.”

Making his comment on the judgment, beIN Media Group CEO Yousef Al-Obaidly added: “This latest legal ruling in France shows that even if we are illegally denied access to justice in Saudi Arabia, we will use every means possible to hold beoutQ and Arabsat to account for their daily theft of rights-holders’ intellectual property. But we are not fighting this battle alone – the weight of the international community is now firmly coming to bear on Saudi Arabia to end its safe haven for piracy, which is destroying not only the economic model of the global sports and entertainment industry, but the livelihoods of content creators all around the world.”