By QLCrime •
At a time when Saudi Arabia-backed pirate channel beoutQ is running riot with their illegal broadcast of the FIFA World Cup, here is some news of integrity and fairness from Europe.
A Swedish court has ordered an Arabic internet TV company to pay $24m (210 million Swedish crowns) as damages for distributing beIN Sports’ content — including English Premier League matches — without permission, reported Gulf Times.
The Stockholm district court ordered the Sweden-based Advanced TV Network (ATN), which distributes Arabic-language content over the internet, to pay 194.8 million crowns in damages to Qatar’s beIN Sports and 14.6 million crowns to Albanian TV group DigitAlb.
“It is, according to the court’s opinion, shown beyond reasonable doubt that ATN at no time had the rights to broadcast the beIN channels in question,” the court said in a verdict dated June 29.
The Stockholm court also sentenced ATN owner Hamid Al Hamid, 58, to two and a half years in prison, while his son Ahmed and another business associate were sentenced to one year each.
All three were found guilty of charges including misuse of decoding information and copyright violations, reported Qatar Tribune.
Hamid Al Hamid’s lawyer Johan Nilsson said he was working with Ahmed Al Hamid’s lawyer and that they planned to appeal the verdict in its entirety.
ATN declared bankruptcy in September 2016, according to the court document. It argued in court that it had distributed the content with the necessary agreements from the content owners.
One of the prosecutors in the case, Anneli Tirud Wallin, said it was her understanding that damages could be extracted from assets belonging ATN or its owners.
Nordic Content Protection, an anti-piracy industry group for Nordic broadcasters which originally filed the case against ATN in 2016, welcomed what it said was a landmark ruling.