Statement by the DFL on the WTO report concerning the protection of intellectual property rights

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16.06.2020 – Statement by the DFL:

“In light of the report published today (16 June 2020) by the World Trade Organization (WTO), the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga welcomes the WTO’s clear stance on piracy and intellectual property rights protection.

The DFL will not tolerate the violation of our, and our partners’, intellectual property rights. With our anti-piracy unit, we will continue to work tirelessly to protect our partners’ intellectual property rights.

The protection of these rights is fundamental for the sports business, all leagues and clubs as well as their partners, and in this specific case, our broadcast partner beIN. A violation of these rights, such as those laid out in the WTO’s extensive report, is not acceptable.

Based on the findings of today’s report, the DFL believes that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) must now act on and address the pressing matter of intellectual property rights abuse. It is hoped that this will prove to be a turning point in the fight against piracy in the region. As one of our most important and trusted partners globally, the DFL will continue to work alongside beIN and all relevant authorities until this matter has been unequivocally resolved.

Furthermore, this report confirms everything the DFL, as part of the Sports Rights Owners Coalition (SROC), has been working on for more than two years. During this time, SROC was able to discover and provide ample evidence against beoutQ and its partners, whose illegal broadcasts have been made regularly available within KSA on an industrial scale. Despite numerous efforts, the SROC has to this date not been able to file its claims legally against beoutQ.

The DFL also welcomes the stipulation of the WTO for countries to ensure its legal system provides comprehensive intellectual property rights protection, to further safeguard broadcasters and sports organisations against piracy in the future.”