beoutQ piracy: US keeps Saudi on priority watchlist

WASHNGTON, DC: The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) on Wednesday retained Saudi Arabia on its 'Priority Watch List' for a second year running, 
while also exceptionally announcing an ‘Out-of-Cycle Review’ into the kingdom for its continued lack of intellectual property protection. 

The USTR's actions are related in large part to the rampant piracy engaged in by rogue pay TV broadcaster beoutQ and were also influenced by requests from global sports bodies, among which were the International Olympic Committee, FIFA, UEFA, the Premier League, and a coalition representing US sports organizations, including the National Football League, urging the US government to keep Saudi Arabia on its priority watch list because the autocratic kingdom “remained a centre for piracy” regarding illegal broadcasts.

for lack of released its annual Special 301 Report on the adequacy and effectiveness of trading partners’ protection of intellectual property rights and the findings of its Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (the Review), which highlights online and physical markets that reportedly engage in and facilitate substantial trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy.

“The Trump Administration is committed to holding intellectual property rights violators accountable and to ensuring that American innovators and creators have a full and fair opportunity to use and profit from their work,” said US Trade representative Robert Lighthizer, while releasing USTR's annual Special 301 Report. 

According to the report, "Saudi Arabia remains on the Priority Watch List in 2020 with an Out-of-Cycle Review focused on addressing protection against unfair commercial use, as well as the unauthorized disclosure, of undisclosed test or other data generated to obtain marketing approval of pharmaceutical products.
The report states: "Saudi Arabia was placed on the Priority Watch List in 2019 for failing to take action against the rampant satellite and online piracy made available by illicit pirate service beoutQ."

The report continues: "The United States continues to remain concerned about reportedly high levels of online piracy in Saudi Arabia, particularly through illicit streaming devices (ISDs), which right holders report are widely available and generally unregulated in Saudi Arabia. The United States encourages Saudi Arabia to increase IP enforcement actions and IP awareness campaigns particularly targeted at reducing online piracy and to combat the perception spurred by beoutQ’s activity that pirating copyrighted material is permissible.

"Right holders have expressed further concerns regarding effective civil enforcement of IP, including the ability to file civil actions, enforce judgments, and assess deterrent-level fines against infringers. Additionally, with regard to criminal enforcement of IP, right holders remain concerned that criminal sentences and financial penalties are not consistently imposed."

"In 2020, USTR plans to conduct an Out-of-Cycle Review of Saudi Arabia, focusing on Saudi Arabia’s protection against unfair commercial use,..."