UAE to Launch ‘Anti-Piracy Lab’ to Block Websites Violating Intellectual Property Rights

The project, executed in collaboration with TDRA, will be established in Dubai Media City

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Staff Writer, TLR

Published on June 28, 2024, 12:23:12


intellectual property rights

The UAE Ministry of Economy (MoE) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Spanish National Professional Football League ‘La Liga’ to establish a laboratory aimed at combating piracy and protecting intellectual property rights in the UAE.

The initiative will focus on detecting and addressing the illegal use of audio and visual content across digital platforms. The project, executed in collaboration with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the Digital Government (TDRA), will be established in Dubai Media City.

The MoU was signed by Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, and Javier Tebas, President of La Liga, in the presence of Major General Dr Abdul Quddus Abdul Razzaq Al Obaidly, Assistant Commander-in-Chief for Excellence and Pioneering at Dubai Police and Chairman of the Emirates Intellectual Property Association; Abdullah Balhoul, CEO of TECOM Group; and Majid Al Suwaidi, Senior Vice

President of TECOM Group - Dubai Media City. Al Saleh emphasised the UAE's commitment to building a robust intellectual property system aligned with the best global practices.

“The UAE has established a legislative framework that is highly adaptable and competitive on both regional and international levels, enhancing its role as a premier global centre for creativity and innovation. This aligns with the 'We the UAE 2031' vision to position the country as a global hub for the new economy and a thriving society by the next decade,” he said.

“The MoU marks a significant milestone in our efforts to strengthen the comprehensive protection of intellectual property applications and creative works in the UAE. Through our collaboration with La Liga, we aim to establish frameworks for blocking websites that infringe upon intellectual property rights in the country, aligning with the best global practices.

It also focuses on strengthening the UAE’s collaborations in combating intellectual property infringements and supporting global initiatives in this field. Additionally, this new project will bolster the Ministry’s ‘InstaBlock’ initiative, which was launched in February as part of its new intellectual property system initiatives,” he added.

Javier Tebas, President of La Liga, said: "It is a historic act because we are at a moment where intellectual property in the sports industry is completely threatened. We have more than 10 years of experience in this fight around the world, which is why we know that this agreement is unique.

"This agreement is an example of how public and private authorities can understand each other and create collaborative spaces against audiovisual fraud. We are seeing with the latest resolutions that we can fight piracy with technology. The Emirates is an example to follow, a pioneer in the world and unique in this activity.

"We know that we will not only defend La Liga but also many other sports and audiovisual properties. We must defend this industry that belongs to everyone."

Abdullah Balhoul, CEO of TECOM Group, said: “Protecting intellectual property is one of the key pillars in advancing a knowledge-based economy. The UAE and Dubai have been pivotal in this effort, utilising their status as global hubs for creativity.

Through specialised business districts like Dubai Media City, the TECOM Group has created integrated business environments that attract top talent from around the world. The Group has succeeded in attracting global companies and top talent in six strategic sectors, thanks to the UAE and Dubai's state-of-the-art infrastructure, supported by legislative and regulatory frameworks that prioritise innovation and growth.

“TECOM Group’s media sector includes over 3,500 clients working within Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, and Dubai Production City. Our goals align with forward-looking government strategies such as ‘We the UAE 2031’ and the Dubai Economic Agenda D33. We are pleased to welcome La Liga in Dubai Media City, affirming our steadfast commitment to supporting the Ministry of Economy’s efforts to cement the UAE’s position as a leading global destination for creativity and innovation.”

Through this project, the MoE seeks to encourage investment in advanced technology and digital innovations, along with the various services offered by the laboratory.

The primary objective is to enhance the protection of intellectual and creative rights within the country, in line with the Ministry’s strategic goals of fostering leadership and competitiveness in innovation and intellectual property rights.

This initiative also aims to empower national creative talents to utilise intellectual property applications, thereby contributing to the development of a knowledge and innovation-driven national economy.

The MoE has outlined plans to complete the project within three years in collaboration with its partners. The Anti-Piracy Lab, which will be established in Dubai Media City, will be similar to La Liga’s Anti-Piracy Lab in Madrid. The lab will utilise cutting-edge technological and digital tools to detect, analyse and remove illegally used audiovisual content, adhering to industry best practices.

Dubai was chosen due to its collaborative efforts with relevant government bodies to formulate policies promoting creative industries and safeguarding intellectual property rights. The city also contributes to the development of a legal and regulatory framework that supports innovation and creativity in the media industry.

The MoE, through its ‘InstaBlock’ initiative, successfully blocked 1,117 websites that infringed upon the copyright of creative content on digital platforms during the holy month of Ramadan 2024, compared to 62 sites in Ramadan 2023.

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