WTO tells Saudi to obey global rules in Qatar broadcast dispute

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A World Trade Organization panel ordered Saudi Arabia on Tuesday to adhere to global intellectual property rules in a ruling on a dispute with Qatar which accuses Riyadh of blocking its broadcaster after the Gulf neighbours fell out in 2017.

Doha filed its complaint in 2018, saying Saudi Arabia was blocking Qatari-owned broadcaster beIN and refusing to take effective action against alleged piracy of beIN’s content by “beoutQ”, a sophisticated pirating operation.

The three-person panel ruled that Saudi Arabia’s failure to act against beoutQ was a breach of WTO rules. “…the Panel recommends that Saudi Arabia bring its measures into conformity with its obligations under the TRIPS Agreement,” it concluded, in reference to a global pact on intellectual property.

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