WTO to investigate Qatari allegations of Saudi piracy
By Eric Knecht DOHA/GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Tuesday it would investigate Qatar's allegations of intellectual property breaches against Saudi Arabia, despite the kingdom's objection that the WTO had no standing to hear the case.
By Eric Knecht
DOHA/GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Tuesday it would investigate Qatar's allegations of intellectual property breaches against Saudi Arabia, despite the kingdom's objection that the WTO had no standing to hear the case.
Qatar launched the dispute in October, 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.
Saudi Arabia this month sought to block the case from being accepted, arguing that because of vital security interests tied to its boycott of Qatar, the trade dispute body could not hear the case.
But a Geneva trade official said on Tuesday the WTO had agreed "to establish a panel to rule on Saudi Arabia's alleged failure to provide adequate protection of intellectual property rights."
Qatar's beIN is blocked in Saudi Arabia under a boycott imposed when Saudi Arabia and its allies severed diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017, over Doha's alleged support of terrorism. Qatar denies those accusations.
It is unclear who owns beoutQ or where it is based. It was launched shortly after the boycott and has illegally broadcasted World Cup soccer matches as well as Hollywood entertainment.
Saudi officials say Riyadh is committed to fighting piracy - in June they said the kingdom had confiscated 12,000 pirating devices.
Qatar's representative to the WTO welcomed the decision to hear the case and said that "legal experts have found no basis for using the pretext of national security to cover up crimes of IP rights piracy."
Saudi officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
The United States has supported Saudi Arabia's national security objection to hearing the case. Washington used similar grounds to argue against a WTO case directed at U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminium raised earlier this year.
Saudi Arabia was the biggest market for beIN Media Group before the boycott. The Qatari company holds regional broadcasting rights for much of the world's most expensive and high profile sporting events as well as entertainment.
The company is pursuing its own arbitration under an investment protection agreement of the Saudi-based Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and seeking a $1 billion settlement.
"There has been an utterly unprecedented and brazen act of theft of intellectual properties rights over the past 18 months," beIN said in a statement after the WTO decision.
It has affected "rights holders, broadcasters, movie studios and other stakeholders across the world of sports and entertainment – and the responsible parties must be held to account," it said.
(additional reporting by Stephanie Nebehay and Tom Miles in GENEVA and Stephen Kalin in RIYADH; Editing by Mark Potter)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
By Jessica Resnick-Ault NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday, as OPEC and its allies were seen complying with a pact to cut oil supply in September, even as concerns loomed that recovery in fuel demand will be stalled by soaring global coronavirus cases. Early in the day crude was boosted by a bullish stock market. Even as equities whipsawed on pandemic worries, oil stayed higher, buoyed by expectations that OPEC could staunch a supply glut
By Tina Bellon and C Nivedita (Reuters) - Tesla Inc will further cut the price of its Model S "Long Range" sedan in the United States to $69,420, the electric carmaker's chief executive, Elon Musk, announced in a tweet https://bit.ly/2H0JCP0 on Wednesday. The anticipated drop marks the second time this week Tesla has cut the price for the high-end sedan, following a 4% cut of the Model S's price in the United States on Tuesday to $71,990.
By Jeff Mason DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Under siege over his handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump on Wednesday cited what he said was his son's mild bout of the virus as a reason why American schools should reopen as soon as possible. Trump made the comment about his son, Barron, as the president swept into Iowa on a mission to shore up support in battleground states that he won in 2016 but is in danger of losing to Democrat Joe Biden barely three weeks before the election. First lady Melania Trump announced in a statement earlier in the day that the virus that struck both her and her husband had also infected their 14-year-old son