The Delhi high court on Monday restrained Direct-To-Home (DTH) television operator Dish TV India from operating in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) due to lack of consent from copyright holders and alleged copyright violations of television content in the MENA region.
As a result of this, Dish TV India will not be able to transmit programmes in the MENA region unless it obtains consent from copyright holders of the content it airs or enters into specific contract with broadcasters in the region.
A bench comprising justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Pratibha Rani dismissed an appeal by Dish TV against an order which had blocked it from transmitting content including movies, programmes, sporting events such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) for which it did not have copyright consent.
The court passed the order on a plea brought by the United Arab Emirates-based company Gulf DTH FZ LLC, about issues pertaining to the alleged commercial exploitation of the satellite spillover signals by Dish TV in the MENA region, resulting in copyright infringement.
It was further stated that Orbit Showtime Network (OSN), a direct-broadcast satellite provider serving the MENA region, had signed specific contracts/licences to transmit channels in MENA and Dish TV had been transmitting the same content without the consent of OSN or copyright holders.
The region includes counties such as Afghanistan, Bahrain, Libya, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar and Yemen.
OSN was formed in 2009 as a result of a merger between television networks Orbit and Showtime Arabia (operated by Gulf DTH FZ LLC).
“We have not received a copy of the order and it has not been published on the high court’s website. We can only comment after evaluating the order,” said a Dish TV spokesperson.