UAE Government blocks more than 1,100 websites over copyright violations

Asma Ahmed - | UAE

The United Arab Emirates has taken significant steps to protect intellectual property (IP) rights by blocking over 1,100 websites that were found to be violating these guidelines.

UAE Blocks Websites Violating Intellectual Property Rights

The Ministry of Economy (MoEc) announced this outcome as part of their new mechanism to safeguard IP rights, particularly in the digital realm. This initiative began during Ramadan this year, in collaboration with the Telecommunications and the Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), highlighting the country's commitment to intellectual property protection.

Implementation of New Mechanism

The central component of this new mechanism is the “InstaBlock” initiative, which offers an immediate response to reports of IP rights violations. The objective of these measures is to create a secure online environment, free from IP infringements, and to promote awareness about the importance of accessing creative works through legitimate platforms. The Ministry aims to ensure that creative works are enjoyed through channels that respect original copyrights, avoiding unauthorized and potentially unsafe sources.

The Ministry's efforts have notably protected the IP rights of major media platforms such as Abu Dhabi Media Network, MBC, OSN Network, and BeIN media group. Dr. Abdulrahman Hassan Al Muaini, Assistant Undersecretary for the IP Rights Sector at the Ministry of Economy, emphasized that under the guidance of the UAE’s leadership, a comprehensive system for safeguarding IP rights has been developed. This system includes legislative measures, such as laws that protect trademarks, neighboring rights, and copyrights, along with various initiatives and awareness campaigns.

These initiatives contribute to creating a secure and stimulating environment for creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators. Moreover, they enhance the UAE’s position as a global hub for creativity, innovation, the knowledge economy, and emerging economic sectors. The UAE’s copyright protection law represents a significant milestone in IP rights legislation, particularly in the digital space, supporting the growth of the digital and creative economy.

Dr. Al Muaini stated that the implementation of this approach has yielded positive results across various levels. The Ministry blocked 1,117 websites infringing IP rights, thus protecting the rights of publishers and creative content producers. This initiative, in collaboration with TDRA, has curtailed illegal infringements on broadcasting and publishing rights, enhanced awareness about IP protection mechanisms, and ensured swift action on reported violations.

The “InstaBlock” initiative, a key part of the new mechanism, actively monitors and promptly blocks websites that violate intellectual property rights. It also establishes direct communication with legal rights holders and takes rapid action against any violations. Furthermore, the “LiveBan” tool within the “InstaBlock” initiative specifically handles complaints related to live online broadcasting infringements.

The collaboration between MoEc, TDRA, and rights holders has significantly reduced violations of broadcasting and publishing rights in the digital space. The new IP protection system comprises 11 diverse initiatives that cover various aspects and applications of intellectual property. The overarching goal is to foster innovation and creativity, create a competitive environment, and provide a conducive atmosphere for inventors and creators to transform their ideas into profitable businesses and innovative projects.

By implementing these measures, the UAE is not only protecting the rights of content creators but also strengthening its reputation as a leader in innovation and intellectual property protection on a global scale.

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Asma Ahmed
Asma Ahmed
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