Football bodies call for action against beoutQ

MUMBAI: Football bodies FIFA, the AFC, UEFA, the Bundesliga, LaLiga, the Premier League and Lega Serie A have called for action regarding the activities of beoutQ in Saudi Arabia.

In a joint statement the rights holders of various football competitions, collectively condemned the ongoing theft of intellectual property by the pirate broadcaster known as “beoutQ”. They have asked the authorities in Saudi Arabia (KSA) to support ending the widespread and flagrant breaches of our intellectual property rights taking place in the country.

“Since May 2018, we have collectively been working with an international legal counsel to monitor and compile evidence against beoutQ, whose broadcasts are regularly and on an industrial scale made available on an illegal basis. Following thorough analysis by technical experts of how beoutQ operates from a technical perspective, we are satisfied that beoutQ is operating specifically to target customers in KSA and is utilising the facilities of at least one KSA-based entity,” the joint statement said.

It further stated that the football bodies have spoken to nine law firms in KSA over the past 15 months, however, each of them either simply refused to act on their behalf or initially accepted the instruction, only later to recuse themselves.

“As copyright holders, we have reached the conclusion, regrettably, that it is now not possible to retain legal counsel in KSA which is willing or able to act on our behalf in filing a copyright complaint against beoutQ. We feel we have now exhausted all reasonable options for pursuing a formal copyright claim in KSA and see no alternative but to pursue beoutQ and a solution to this very serious problem of piracy by other means,” the statement added

“beoutQ’s infringement of our rights inevitably harms every aspect of the industry, from the rights holders to legitimate licensees, consumers and fans, participants (including players, clubs and national teams) and ultimately, the sport itself.

“We have welcomed previous statements by the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information and the Saudi Government against beoutQ. However, given the scale of beoutQ’s piracy in KSA and that the piracy continues unabated, we request that the Ministry and the Saudi Government take swift and decisive action against beoutQ. We are committed, collectively and individually, to working with all relevant authorities to combat the beoutQ piracy.”

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