Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Six jailed for illegal DVD sales in Dubai

Hmmm, maybe this is why the Chinese Video Lady (everyone in Dubai has one...) hasn't been round for a few weeks.
Source: ArabianBusiness.com 12 October 09
Photo: Fotosearch Footage

Six people have been jailed after being caught selling parallel imports of DVDs.Six foreigners trading in the UAE have been jailed after being convicted of engaging in parallel imports, the practice of goods without the permission of the intellectual property owner.
Dubai Courts handed down the sentence which is the first ever imprisonment related to the sale of "grey" products in the Middle East, the Ministry of Economy said in a statement on Monday.
The ruling followed a raid by authorities against a major parallel importer in Dubai, which led to the confiscation of thousands of DVDs containing banned titles, Ministry chiefs added.
Six people including the shop manager were arrested, with the manager sentenced to two months in prison, a fine of AED20,000 and deportation. The name of the shop was not released.
A parallel import is a non-counterfeit product imported from another country without the permission of the intellectual property owner. Parallel imports are often referred to as grey products, and are implicated in issues of international trade, and intellectual property.
Mohammed Ahmed Bin Abdulaziz Alshihhi, general manager of the UAE Ministry of Economy, said: "Our overriding objective is to improve the competitiveness of the UAE market while ensuring that the interests of the intellectual property rights owners are protected.
"While this landmark court ruling has underlined the UAE's position as the safest business hub in the Middle East, it also reflects the country's stringent stance on piracy."
He said the country would continue its "relentless efforts" to protect property rights, including steps taken to confiscate counterfeit products and levy criminal charges on violators.
"The result...serves as a strong precedent against parallel imports which we can expect to further reduce this type of IPR crime," added Scott Butler, CEO, Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance.

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