Opinion

The time to act against piracy is now

Vijaya Cherian, Editorial Director, BroadcastPro ME.

Piracy is terrorising our industry, and our broadcasters are having to stand by and watch helplessly as the premium content they bought the rights to is stolen right before their eyes. This is only one of the many scenarios in which piracy has threatened bottom lines in MENA to such a level that it has now shaken the very foundations of our sector’s economy.

It is no longer just a little pest that can be pif-paffed to death; it has slowly crept into the cracks and crevices of our system like a disease that has spiralled out of control, and is threatening to put an entire industry out of action unless we take immediate steps to eradicate it. The time for action and collaboration is now. This is why the MENA Anti-Piracy conference, brought to you by BroadcastPro ME, is significant.

Our aim is to bring all the stakeholders in the chain together to discuss how they can potentially crack the whip in unison with regulators and government authorities, so that pirates will never dare raise their heads again. It has to be a collaborative effort. The MENA Anti-Piracy Conference takes place on 23 April at the Ritz-Carlton JBR in Dubai and is free to attend for industry professionals; however, online registration at www.antipiracyconference.com is mandatory. New regulations do not permit on-site registration.

But the conference is not until later this month. We have just bid goodbye to the 2019 edition of CABSAT, and NAB is around the corner with promises of several new launches. We will be reporting from the thick of all that action in Las Vegas.

In the meantime, I also had the pleasure of meeting film director Nadine Labaki and her husband, Khaled Mouzanar, who shot to fame when their film Capernaum was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category. Their story on how they evolved as filmmakers and artists in the process of filming Capernaum is an inspiration for every aspiring filmmaker and a must-read.

Nadine Labaki, CABSAT, NAB and the Anti-Piracy Conference – there’s a lot in store this month. Until then…