Learn more about Peltz-Steele v. UMass Faculty Federation at Court Listener (complaint) and the Liberty Justice Center. The case is now on appeal in the First Circuit as no. 22-1466 (PACER paywall). Please direct media inquiries to Kristen Williamson.

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Qatar drops beIN sport piracy claim as World Cup nears

Sideline interview with beIN
(Ronnie Macdonald CC BY 2.0 via Flickr)

Qatar withdrew its complaint in April in the World Trade Organization against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) over piracy of Qatari beIN Media Group sport broadcasts.

I wrote about this dispute in May 2020. A pirate outfit cheekily called "beOutQ" was rebroadcasting beIN content in the KSA without a copyright license. Riyadh disclaimed responsibility. But there was little doubt that the Saudis at least looked the other way, if not sponsored the piracy, as the two nations were locked in a tense diplomatic standoff and Qatar was isolated by a regional embargo. Read more background from James Dorsey.

Now World Cup 2022 in Qatar is focusing global attention on the Middle East. Neither nation stands to gain from negative publicity, least of all heightened attention to human rights issues (see Dorsey this week), so Qatar and the KSA are trying to work past their differences. They both joined a statement of the Gulf Cooperation Council signed at al-Ula after a summit in January 2021 (Middle East Institute analysis), and they have been working through the implications since. BeIN has broadcast rights to the World Cup, so setting to rest that piece of the dispute made the agenda.

Alyssa Aquino wrote further analysis of the Qatari withdrawal of the WTO complaint for Law 360 in April. The matter in the WTO was No. WT/DS567/11 (terminated Apr. 25, 2022).

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