Bahrain crackdown on TV 'pirates'

Authorities in Bahrain are planning a crackdown on companies who steal and redirect satellite TV broadcasts to illegal users, at knockdown prices. Experts are calling for a ban on the import of equipment, which allows rogue providers to do this - and for the culprits to be prosecuted.

The call came as the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority launched action to block the Dreambox service, which transmits satellite TV signals via the Internet.
But providers shrugged off the TRA crackdown, saying all they need to do to get round it was to change their Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.

The call for tougher action came from Dubai-based Arabian Anti-Piracy Alliance (AAA) chief executive officer Scott Butler and his deputy Ola Khudair. The AAA evolved from an anti-piracy campaign established by the Motion Picture Association (MPA) in 1996. Butler called for a crackdown on the import of equipment that makes it possible for operators to offer such services. "While the steps the government has taken are very encouraging, we need them to be doing a lot more," he said. "We have been assured there are several more steps on the way."