The Abu Dhabi Police recently arrested an Arab national for trying to share an Arabic movie (still showing in cinemas across Abu Dhabi and other Arab cities) against a subscription fee through an external URL (outside the UAE) . The case was identified as a copyright infringement and intellectual property theft.
Major General Omair Al Muhairi, Director of Police Operations, noted that the Abu Dhabi Police managed to stop the sharing of the movie, and prevented it from being downloaded by other websites. The internet pirate was promptly arrested shortly after the Criminal Investigation Department received notification about the illegal piracy act.
Major General Al Muhairi stressed the commitment of Abu Dhabi Police to coordinate with the competent authorities to combat all forms of commercial fraud, a practice that undermines the basic components of national economy, and infringe the rights of creative individuals in various areas. To curtail this issue, the local authorities in Abu Dhabi have developed a legislative framework in line with the international standards in the area of Intellectual Property protection, combating piracy, with the aim of providing a safe environment for traders and consumers alike.
Moreover, Major General Al Muhairi indicated that movie piracy, which includes making clandestine recordings in movie theatres using small cameras and uploading the pirated movies onto the internet, or trying to sell them as DVDs, is a violation of laws that regulate this commercial activity and negatively affect the financial viability of the industry y; and cause movie lovers to miss out.
Elaborating on the details of the operation, Colonel Dr. Rashid Mohammad Borshid, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), said: "The Organised Crime Section at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has received a complaint from the producer of the film, ‘which is considered one of the top movies of the season' claiming that the movie incurred significant financial losses, after being uploaded onto an external URL , offering illegal Arabic and foreign movies, series and animated movies while still showing in movie theatres across Abu Dhabi."
Adding further, Colonel Borshid noted that the search and investigation operation that immediately followed resulted in locating the whereabouts of the suspect (residing in the UAE), identified as "A. M." and works as a director of a transport services institution. He said that the initial investigations indicated that he was behind the illegal promotion of the movie.
Colonel Borshid also noted that the suspect was kept under close surveillance and was immediately arrested. Legal action was taken accordingly. When questioned, the suspect confessed to the piracy act with the help of another person (residing outside the UAE). He also confessed to working as a non-licensed admin of the website, which illegally sells the movie for a subscription rate.
Colonel Borshid said that the suspect maintained that his partner sent him the link to the alleged movie, and that he uploaded the movie to grant the aforementioned website the necessary support and to attract the largest number of subscribers, who pay an annual subscription fee of USD 100. He added that the suspect was referred to the competent authorities along with the seized DVDs.
In conclusion, the Head of the CID urged members of the public to cooperate and promptly report any piracy acts or suspicious attempts to the competent authorities entrusted with the fight against commercial fraud and piracy, in order to protect both traders and consumers. He also called upon victims of piracy acts to inform the competent authorities, in order to take the necessary measures against any potential copyright infringement and intellectual property theft.