18 June 2018Copyright

FIFA to take action over illegal broadcast of World Cup matches

FIFA, the international football governing body, has said it will take action to prevent a pirate channel from illegally broadcasting World Cup matches in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

On Friday, June 15, FIFA said that it is aware of a pirate channel named BeoutQ that has been streaming the opening matches of the FIFA World Cup within the MENA region.

The football tournament kicked off on Thursday, June 14, with Russia playing Saudi Arabia.

“FIFA takes infringements of its IP very seriously and is exploring all options to stop the infringement of its rights, including in relation to action against legitimate organisations that are seen to support such illegal activities,” FIFA said in a statement.

The governing body added: “We refute that BeoutQ has received any rights from FIFA to broadcast any FIFA event.”

Qatar-based beIN Sports is the exclusive broadcaster of the World Cup in the MENA region.

This isn’t the first instance of IP infringing activity involving FIFA and the World Cup.

On Friday, June 15, WIPR reported that Hong Kong customs had seized more than HK$15 million (US $1.9 million) worth of counterfeit World Cup products between April 30 and June 13.

Five arrests were made in connection with the 259,000 pieces of suspected infringing items, which included apparel, accessories, shoes and bags.

Last week, WIPR also reported that Sony, which is the official broadcaster of the World Cup in India and neighbouring countries, sent letters to streaming sites warning them against broadcasting the tournament illegally.

The email was sent to streaming sites from India-based law enforcement agency MarkScan on behalf of Sony.

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