Crackdown in Oman on pirate World Cup broadcasts
July 11, 2018 | 10:23 PM
by Times News Service
Anyone showing games without a licence can be shut down in a minute

Muscat: Government agencies are pulling the plug on pirate broadcasts of World Cup games across Oman.

Businesses that illegally broadcast the World Cup could be fined OMR10,000 or jail up to two years, according to Oman’s Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights Law

No. 65/2008. “We received a formal complaint from Bein Sports who own the broadcasting rights of the World Cup 2018, stating that a number of restaurants and cafés in the Sultanate use BeoutQ devices and Dish TV, to broadcast the games,” an official from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI) told the Times of Oman.

The Intellectual Property Department at the ministry carried out fieldwork to clamp down on such illegal activities.

“The department visited the businesses, to address the complaints filed against them,” the official added.

As a result, some restaurants directly contacted Bein sports to subscribe. The ministry has added that a number of complaints are still pending.

According to Bein Sports, viewers can file a complaint against a business by scanning a code that appears on the screen and sending it to their Bein Care service on Twitter.

If the restaurant is found to have the wrong subscription then, in less than a minute their broadcasting will be cancelled.

Individuals can also file a complaint to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry through its social media accounts or by calling the number on their website.

According to Chapter 10, Article 52 of the Law of Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights Law implemented by Royal Decree

No. 65/2008, “Any person shall be punished by imprisonment from a minimum of three months, up to a maximum of two years as well as monetary fines from a minimum of OMR2,000 up to OMR10,000 rials, or by either one, if that person sells, rent or circulate, without the consent of the right holder, any copy of the protected work under the provisions of this law.”

With regards to the damage that agents suffer as a result of these illegal activities, the ministry said: “the authorised agents paid large sums of money to obtain the exclusive rights to broadcast those world cup matches.”

“Agents profit from the subscription of individuals or companies, therefore, the presence of a pirated device which broadcast the World Cup without a licence causes the agent harm as it leads to a loss in profits,” the official added.

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