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Posted On: 18 August 2009 12:02 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:10 pm

Trio face the music for ‘song leak’

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Three former employees of a famous radio station in Doha have been sentenced to five years of imprisonment for harming the interests of their employers “by leaking songs exclusively owned” by the station. The Doha court of first instance found them guilty of violating the country’s anti-piracy laws regarding the protection of private ownership and intellectual rights. The court ruled that the three convicts - two Qataris and an Egyptian - cannot work in a public position in the future. The court agreed with the public prosecution that the three were public servants as the radio station was under the direct management of the General Authority for Radio and TV. The radio station’s general manager told the court that the songs lost their exclusivity after they were leaked. “They became available for the public and it was no more necessary to tune to the station to hear them.” He said the station had paid a huge amount to own and air the songs exclusively. The court was shown copies of contracts signed with the singers. Following a complaint, the authorities seized 391 CDs and seven discs from one of the suspects in April 2007 and investigations led to his compatriot. The duo said the Egyptian had taught them how to access the station’s server where the unaired songs were saved and how to download them. The court heard the three accused distributed the songs among friends and relatives. The court ruled that the Egyptian leave the country after serving the five-year term. It also ordered the confiscation of the CDs containing the pirated songs. The verdict is still open for an appeal in a higher court.