Saudi Plots

WTO: Saudi behind hacking of Qatar’s “beIN SPORTS”

The World Trade Organization (WTO) has officially condemned the Saudi regime for violating the rights of the Qatar sports network, beIN Sports, stressing that Riyadh was involved in violating intellectual property laws by being behind the beoutQ channel.

The Jury of the WTO Dispute Settlement Authority released today its final report on the extensive and long-term piracy and robbery that beoutQ has led on the programs of beIN SPORTS since August 2017, that is, after the blockade of Qatar by nearly two months.

The report pointed out that the beoutQ is present in the Kingdom and that the latter turned a blind eye to its piracy of beIN SPORTS programs.

He said that “Saudi Arabia violated international intellectual property law according to evidence provided by the International Game Federation (FIFA),” and revealed that “beoutQ” benefited from the support of influential Saudi institutions and personalities, including the former adviser to the Royal Court, Saud Al-Qahtani.

The World Trade Organization called for Saudi Arabia to amend its procedures to be consistent with its commitment to international intellectual property law.

The report confirmed the Kingdom’s condemnation and explicit violation of the TRIPS Agreement on the protection of intellectual property, which is fair to many sports and media parties whose interests have been damaged by piracy.

The commercial committee did not support the Kingdom’s request to refuse consideration of the Qatari complaint, after the Qatari defense team presented all the evidence that condemns the Kingdom and proves its failure to address the piracy acts.

The committee clarified that the Kingdom prevented “beIN SPORTS” from accessing the civil judicial authorities concerned with intellectual property rights issues, and did not take criminal measures and procedures to punish the beoutQ piracy network.

The committee rejected the justification for national security that the Kingdom had pushed, in a historically first precedent, as no decision was issued by the dispute settlement committees in the WTO in previous cases in favor of the claimant state when it touched to exclude national security, and all decisions were issued in favor of the defendant country and granted it an exception for national security.

BeoutQ started broadcasts weeks after the blockade of Qatar by Saudi Arabia and other countries in June 2017. Although Riyadh denied any connection to these channels, an investigation by Aljazeera revealed the secret details of the site that the channel is broadcast from inside Saudi Arabia and the personalities associated with the project.

The British newspaper “Mail on Sunday” that the Kingdom is working to reach a settlement with Qatar over the rights of television broadcasts, amid fears that it affects the purchase of the Saudi investment fund for Newcastle United team.

The newspaper quoted sources close to the negotiations as saying that the investment fund pledged to use its influence with the Kingdom to open talks between the two countries, after the threat of the beIN SPORTS channel to block the team’s purchase due to piracy of its rights to broadcast TV by the Saudi-sponsored beoutQ network.

The acquisition, which a group led by the investment fund is trying to complete, includes transferring 80% of Newcastle FC shares from current owner Mike Ashley to the investment fund headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for 300 million pounds (about $370 million).

The remaining 20% of the shares will be divided between a subsidiary of businesswoman Amanda Staffeli (who plays the role of broker in the deal), and Robin Brothers, which is owned by Britain’s second richest family.

The newspaper pointed out that this step comes before the World Trade Organization publishes its report on the Kingdom’s violations of the rights of “Bn Sports”, which was viewed by the English Federation and will be officially published on June 16.

British newspapers have revealed that the final report of the WTO is 130 pages long, and includes “a clear condemnation of Saudi Arabia” by standing behind the pirate network beoutQ.

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