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The question of piracy: intellectual property infringement or an outdated understanding of the internet?

The question of piracy: intellectual property infringement or an outdated  understanding of the internet?

We invest hundreds of millions of dollars to deliver the content you see across our 90 channels. We should be entitled to a return on that investment...Intellectual Property Crime is not a victimless crime says OSN CEO David Butorac.

December 22, 2011 4:21 by



Last week, after exchanging a few tweets with yours truly, Tom Paye wrote an interesting article about the Orbit Showtime Network– one of if not the biggest TV network in the region –suing a pirate, here in the UAE, $962,400 for illegally downloading its HD content, at a rate of $1,200 per piracy act.

Interestingly the CEO of OSN David Butorac replied to the post:

“Tom. ..a couple of points I’d like to make. If you wanted a new car I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t just steal one off the street.. and I’m certain that you wouldn’t expect the car dealer to give you one for free. Indeed, you wouldn’t even expect them to give you a free one of their basic range, and only expect them to receive payment from the few people who wanted a more advanced model.. I also suspect you wouldn’t suggest the way to overcome car crime is to make sure the dealers give cars away free. But that’s what you’re suggesting would be OK for TV. Each of the Movies and Series you see on the OSN channels costs OSN more than the price of a good new car…. and that’s each movie and programme, not each channel.

None of the content you see on the OSN platform is provided to us free. We invest hundreds of millions of dollars to deliver the content you see across our 90 channels. We should be entitled to a return on that investment, just as you and your readers are entitled to be paid for the work you do and the car dealer is entitled to be paid for his cars. Intellectual Property Crime is not a victimless crime. It inhibits the capacity for companies like ours to invest to create a viable and robust entertainemnt industry, something this region deserves. One can’t lament the lack of quality on TV yet encourage the actions that serve to stop the industry from being able to afford to invest in improving things. And to your point of a decent Digital Platform. I agree.. and that’s why we’ve been developing one for several months. It will launch early in 2012 and I am sure you will use it to further (legally) enjoy the OSN experience…. David Butorac..”

You can read Tom Paye response here, but we are more interested in knowing what you think of the issue? Do you think OSN CEO Butorac has a valid point of view? Or do you think there needs to be a re-haul of the conceptualization of the internet and content on it? Have your say in the section below



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