A shop owner in Abu Dhabi has been heavily penalized by court alleging that the shopkeeper was selling subscription services and set-top boxes (STBs) from Indian direct-to-home (DTH) operator Dish TV in an unauthorized manner.
Based on evidence the court has ordered the closure of the shop for a year. It has also ordered banishment of the shop manager, and imposed a fine of Dirham 200,000. The judgment is subject to an appeal within 14 days.
According to the Indian laws, DTH license is given to an Indian company only to broadcast and sell its services within India. Satellite signals of DTH operators like Dish TV, Airtel Digital, Tata Sky and Sun Direct spill over in neighboring countries and an illegal business of selling subscriptions thrives in these countries. STBs and their smart cards are registered in India and taken illegally to other countries for sale. It is estimated that more than 5 million such illegal connections exist in countries like-Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Thailand and Middle East where there is a sizable number of Indian origin people or people who understand English and Indian language programmes.
According to industry reports, TV piracy costs the industry over $500 million every year.