Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Is Dish TV India violating Intelluctual Property rights in Sri Lanka?

Just last week another advertisement appeared in The Sunday Times Hit AD section advertising placed by a company called Telecave providing Dish Tv connections. They claim to be the authorized service agents for Dish TV in Sri Lanka who have been appointed by SATNet, who is actually the only dealer in Sri Lanka who is authorized by Dish TV of India.

The fact is that SATNet is allowed to only sell packages only with a much lower channel choice that actually provided by Dish TV. But Telecave which has been appointed by SATNet is selling the full package provided by Dish TV. Either SATNet or Telecave or Dish TV of India are lying big time about this whole issue. It is a fact that Dish TV does not have permission from all its content providers to distribute their content in Sri Lanka. So if they have authorised Telecave via SATNet to sell connections that contains the entire content of Dish TV then it means that Dish TV is violating Intelluctual Property Rights and should be stripped of the license to carry out a DTH service.

Sony Max have made Dialog TV the exclusive rights holder for the ICC World Cup 2007 but according to this advertisement the Dish TV package in Sri Lanka also carries the SET Max channel that will be telecasting the matches.

The connections are being sold with six months subscription free and this happens to be the exactly the same offer that is available in India. Telecave claims to be able to reconnect the existing disconnected illegal connections in Sri Lanka.

The legality of the connections provided by Telecave is very much questionable and people who are planning to purchase them are better off buying connections from LBN, Comet or Dialog TV.

This could be a case of Telecave doing this entire business without the knowledge of SATNet as well as Dish TV of India but certain comments made by our bloggers indicate that SATNet is fully aware of this operation and it is most likely that they are. It could also be a case of SATNet appointing Telecave and then selling illegal connections through the sales agent. Dish TV may not have any knowledge of this business but certainly a distributor of Dish TV in India will be involved. Another likely scenario is that Dish TV knows the entire story but is turning a blind eye and if this is the case we hope that action is taken against Dish TV by the Broadcasting Ministry of India and this may lead to a suspension of Dish TV services.

It looks likely that a court battle may be brewing in Sri Lanka and may involve Dialog TV taking legal action against Dish TV, SATNet and Telecave.


Anonymous said...

What the hell is wrong with you guys???

I was using CBNSat and I moved to Dish TV which brought for my Address in India. And now I am using it and it is very much convenient for me when considered to Money and Channel Choice.

Thus, the intellectual property violation you are talking about happens when Dialog TV redistribute Indian Feeds and Hong Kong Feeds of the channels.

Do you get some underhand money from Dialog TV to shut other cable operators, coz I have never seen you praising either LBN, Comet or any other regional cable operator.

Dude said...

Anony @ 2:32pm

Blog Admin raises a good point here. Dialog has permission from the Indian and Hong Kong Channels to redistribute their signals to Sri Lanka. But Dish TV does not have that sort of permission for all its channels and has only for a few shit load of channels provided by Shit Net.

Read the blog properly praise is given where due and not every time.

You must be one of the asses who goes licking behind India.

By the way buying the connection for an Indian Address and using in Sri Lanka is illegal. Your connection will be disconnected soon.

Vishkid said...

Even though the 1st Anon poster is pissed because it concerns his allegedly 'illegal' DishTV connection getting affected (he bought it in India - he cannot use it here. DTH is not a VCR or a DVD player - it has territorial constraints), the point raised here is both valid and interesting.

I'm sure the DTV customers per se would hv no qualm in sharing the CWC '07 experience with others as they themselves are not paying a premium for it.

But for Dialog on the otherhand (who hv paid a premium for it), this would be a gross violation of their right if SatNet or any other service provider used Dish or any other service to telecast SetMax and thus the world cup.

Also considering the fact that 'authorized' DishTV in SL, does not carry the Set Max channel - both Dish TV and SatNet (who seem to be using Telecave as a scapegoat) are treading in to dangerous territory
and infringing IP rights.

Before this sort of thing becomes the habit and the norm for all Sri Lankan operators, I hope the media ministry of SL and broadcast commissions of India will step in to the act.

Or are we to see Dialog seeking an injunction order against Dish/Satnet/Telecave as soon as they broadcast the 1st match DTH in Sri Lanka?

Anonymous said...

If the satellite foot prints are available, you can get any signal which is available to you. It doesn't matter about the location you are in.

I perfectly know the difference between DVD/VCR and a STB. The connection I am using is not illegal as I bought it in India for my Indian Address. There is no one in Sri Lanka who can stop me watching my Dish TV connection as they don't have any control over Indian satellite up links and down links. Government sealed CBNsat as it was operated from sri lanka ...but to stop Dish TV broad casting, they need to change the whole satellite concept.

Just to beam the signals within the borders of India.. In that case Dialog TV also will loose their beam as they use a non Sri Lankan satellite.

You guys are talking about legal and illegal connections. Haven't you guys done anything illegal in your life? At least riding in a motor cycle without helmets???

It's a bloody joke what I see in these comments

Anae said...

Excuse me, "Mr. Bloody Joke" Anonymous,

SATnet has certain control over what DishTV broadcasts to Sri Lankan customers. That's why their Maxi package only has a quarter or so of the total DishTV channels.

Also, a connection and DishTV hardware bought in India must stay in India. Bringing the connection to Sri Lanka from india instead of buying through SATnet is against the law. Beware, you can get in to trouble someday soon.

Meanwhile, SATnet is the authorized dealer for DishTV in Sri Lanka, appointed by DishTV India to provide a useless load of channels. But I doubt that SATnet appointing its own autorized dealer or sales agent is legal.

Sooner or later Telecave is going to get tired of the business(less) and will give up like Hayleys did in a week. I doubt that people will really buy that without researching first. Especially after the Cable TV trouble last year.

Anonymous said...

To, anyone
Dtv said that they trying to get whole star channels which star network distributing. there is Fox news in there list. As I know middleast have fox sports channel. It broadcast so many rugby and Soccer maches. Is there any possiblity to have 'fox sports middleeast' on Dialog tv.

Anonymous said...

@anon 4:55pm
You guys are talking about legal and illegal connections. Haven't you guys done anything illegal in your life? At least riding in a motor cycle without helmets

are you the guy who complains when the cops catch you for speeding? try asking them if they did anything illegal in their life. maybe they will look ashamed and let you off.

way to miss the point, idiot.

use your dish tv connection illegally in Sri Lanka. If you get caught, you get fined. Don't want to take a chance? then buy a connection here. very simple.

Saman said...


I'm a Dialog TV subscriber who is hoping to go to India for my post graduate research. Am I allowed to take my Dialog Tv connection there?
is it legal? maybe its a foolish question.

Prof. Saman Rajapakshe

Anonymous said...

Its obvious that bloggers like Anae are actually working at DTV, this article also looks like it was written by someone working at DTV, pls dont shamelessly plug your company without admitting to the fact that you are actually associated with the said company

LoverlordStriker said...

DUDE's comment: ""By the way buying the connection for an Indian Address and using in Sri Lanka is illegal. Your connection will be disconnected soon.""

No. it is not. Ithere is no region limitation on the STB. If you buy a mobile phone connection in India and use it in sl (Hutch india signals do work in some parts of Colombo), what jackass would call that illegal?

DishTV connections that are brought into sl are all subject to custom inspections. There is nothing illegal about that and I'm saying this on this blog for maybe the 45th time. Besides, there is no friggin way on earth to track the location of the STB. If there were, users can sue dish tv for privacy violation. There is no way dish tv can sort the connections by country and even if they do they cannot disconnect the connection as they are authorized to sell connections (any package to anyone) in Srilanka through SATnet. Nor can the SL govt do anything about this. .

As for the max feed, there is no intellectual property violation going on. You cannot limit the coverage of a satellite to prevent it being down linked in another region just because there is an exclusive rights holder. I really don’t understand how dialog can call their coverage of the World cup exclusive as it simply is not. Dialog didn’t buy the broadcast rights from ICC. What they have is a license to downlink SETmax through DTV platform. It doesn’t mean that max will black out their broadcast in other DTH platforms in region.
Besides, knowing how much an asslicker huluballa is, I don’t see govt taking any action against him even if he distributed porno channels.

Admin's comment: ""Dish TV knows the entire story but is turning a blind eye and if this is the case we hope that action is taken against Dish TV by the Broadcasting Ministry of India and this may lead to a suspension of Dish TV services.""

Oh for the 1001'st time no! Dish tv is not illegal in sri lanka and Indian broadcasting ministry cant do jackshit against dish tv for having coverage over sri lanka. For the love of god they have an authorized dealer in sl which is a legally registered company in sl.

The above information is not valid only for dish tv. There is no limitation on receiving a satellite downlink if enough signal strength is there. There are more than 10 types of satellite tv services in sl (KU band and C band both) and none of them can be barred by law.

Now brand me as a Dish tv asslicker or something for saying the above. But having worked for TRC in the recent past, I can give you one advice; Never let it become a dominant operator in a certain market segment.

In fact, thank Dish tv (and LBN) for DTV's 3rd transponder. Don’t be blind worshippers of DTV and scream at the name of another DTH operator. If it were not for competition posed by dish, you'll all still be having same old EPG and same old set of channels which cbnsat had.

P.S:- I own both dialog and dish connection. I don’t worship any of them. It's just a matter of who gives the better channel packages. Money either goes to india or Malaysia (but never to SL) so both are the same to me.

LoverlordStriker said...

In my above post,
""Never let it become a dominant operator in a certain market segment.""

should be corrected as
""Never let DIALOG become a dominant operator in a certain market segment.

Vishkid said...

I can agree with one thing mentioned in the LoverLordStrikers post and that is the fact that not letting Dialog be the dominant pay tv operator. That would not abode well for any subscriber.

However, prom a legal point of view his definition of illegal is COMPLETELY WRONG.

Any fool can understand the fact that there is no way to restrict satellite footprints or where they beam and where they fly (if there hv been there would hv been no spy satellites in the world) but if you take the broadcast perspective of this and where profits are involved, any government has complete rights over it's territory (whether in land, air or sea).

There is no way that India can profit when SL is not, from a DTH connection used in SL. The fact that you CAN does not make it LEGAL.

SatNet and import DishTV stuff though customs and sell them here purely because they pay license fees and taxes to SL govt.

There are FTA signals that cannot be barred (this is also relative any government can interrupt these signal if they wish to - at their cost or confiscate any equipment used in country to capture those signals) as long as they remain 'free' and carry suitable material.
(keeping in mind in SL, everything is under political influence though :D)

But contrary to LLS's WILD IMAGINATION, SL govt can chose to do anything if they so wish to do so.

So he can say this for the millionth time but IP will remain IP and what is illegal will remain illegal. You better read up on territorial broadcast rights.


Anonymous said...

loverlordstriker poses some very valid points.

For someone who saw both ads from telecave (& posted about them in this blog earlier), I am indeed tempted to check out the Telecave offer (first by visiting their office and judging picture & sound quality)

I sold my Comet recently and went for DialogTV. Naturally, there are pros & cons of DialogTV over Comet, main pro being clear digital quality, a con being pixelation. To get back onto the topic.

If Telecave boast about being an authorized dealer, let them. To-date, they offer a better deal than DialogTV (channelwise). Naturally, your piece of mind is at risk, but if you are willing to face that, channel selection is much better.

As for IP rights, I realistically doubt any action would be taken, either from India, or Sri Lanka.

I am personally for DISHTV bringing some competition. Its a well known fact that LBN has the best channel selection at present, followed by DISHTV, then Comet, lastly DialogTV.

I have used/using 2 of the above, checked out LBN personally at a friends place, and seen the channel lineup of DISHTV, so I know what I'm talking about.

PS: I don't work at any Cable TV company, just a tv addict (like most of us blogging here). Its all an acquired taste when it comes to deciding the best deal out there. If you are willing to fork out the cash to get what you like with the inherent risks, go for it.

Sophist said...

Finally a bugger who knows what he is talking about. I wish people didn't loosely use phrases like 'against the law' without having a clue.

If DD Sports - which is available on LBN - shows the WC 2007 too do LBN get shut down as well?

Dialog have a great marketing arm. They have the biggest budgets of anyone in this country. Hopefully, they will compete effectively and not in Machchiavellian fashion. Competition is the key to development.

This blog post is typically Sri Lankan. Cut the other bugger in order to maintain your position.

Anonymous said...

I think legal or illegal,We should let Dish TV,dtv,satnet and telecave sought out their problem.

Let the customer choose what he likes.

Sumzy said...

I use Dish TV and I very much like it. I don't think anyone will search for Dish TV connections (legal or Illegal) going in to each and every house in Sri Lanka.

I pretty much like the channel selection for a lesser price than any other cable or DTH operator in SL

Harish said...

I agree with Dude/Anae’s comment.

@ Anonymous: ples...if ur NOT a illegal user, can u ples send a single SMS massage or a call to da DISHTV billing committee, (from ur SL no) to check the outstanding. (U can get the no from mail info or DISHTV instruction menu). The very next minute, they will (DISHTV-Bangalore) disconnect ur connection.
So ples STOP putting bullshit comments.

LoverlordStriker said...

""But contrary to LLS's WILD IMAGINATION, SL govt can chose to do anything if they so wish to do so.

I would like to see them try and complain against Dish TV.

checking Dish tv balance via SMS? why would you do that once you have web access and when the whole provisional statement is visble over the web?

VishKid, if you think Dialog got exclusive rights to SETmax, i cannot make you think otherwise. But just wait and see if LBN (or any other operator in the region) gets the channel and airs the WC, Dialog cannot do shit to stop them. Do you think they really have exclusive rights?

Once again, i'm not against DTV. But i damn well know what Dialog is going to do. It's thanks to Dish Tv your subscription just went up bu Rs 50. Wait and see what happens when the 3rd transponder is online.

Read the signs you fools.

Anonymous said...

I agree with "LoverlordStriker"

Why call them or Sms them if you don't need to do it??

I am pretty sure, Globevision in Raddoluwa NHS, will be transmitting SET MAX without any issues.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting to read all those blogs. However please be informed that Intellectual property rights & piracy related to it is viewed seriously. Dtv in Sri Lanka can sell In Sri lanka only certain channels, many channels are not authorised to be telecasted through DTH in Sri Lanka & other regions. Address of the customer is very important and this is validated at the time of installation. One of them has compared the STB to a mobile phone & its roaming facility. It is incorrect to make this comparasion- coz on your mobile you conly speak & that is your content whereas on channels there are content developed by someone else & sold for telecast in certain areas only. Therefore purchasing a connection with indian or any other country address & viewing the same in Sri Lanka (if it is not authorised for that region) is illegal. If telecave is an agent appointed by satnet then I think satnet is not doing ethical business.

Anonymous said...

We all know that you cannot "ban" a satellite from having its footprint over a certain country. However, in the world of DTH, there is almost always a legality issue of where you can use a STB. No one would be able to track a STB, but it can only be used within a country that it is authorized to. This is because of the premium content carried on DTH services and the ability for an STB to "decode" encrypted signals. The very reason nimbus wants DD to encrypt its signal, is because IT is the exclusive rights holder for cricket in india and it has sold pay tv rights to setmax. it would be unfair if DD broadcast the match via sattelite, FTA.

As far as Satnet is concerned, their operation would be legal, as they have license from the government as well as DishTv to distribute. So their customers would be legal subscribers. However the ads in the newspapers offering DishTV for comparatively low prices should be investigated.

And anyway, the price is low because the content is not as good as what sri lankan cable and dth operatos provide. Most channels cannot be understood by us and hasnt anyone noticed, that there is no HBO signature or Cinemax on Dishtv?

Most indian cable networks have movie channels with adds. even HBO there has adds every 30 mnts. same with star movies. this is why we get the sin/hk feeds of these channels. correct me if i'm wrong.

As for the Set Max rights issue. IF dtv "really" has got "exclusive" rights for the pay television broadcast of the world cup, then, it is wrong for dish tv to broadcast the channels to viewers in SL. BUT, we know that they cannot stop broadcasting the channel, bcoz its is the same feed the indian viewer gets. so we end up with a salad bowl of issues.

As for me, I'm no dishtv or dtv subscriber. I'm a comet subscriber who has to turn his local antenna to get channel eye clearly to watch the world cup.

Cheers all.

Anonymous said...

Can a DISHTV subscriber please confirm if its feed of HBO & Star Movies does indeed have ads every 30min?

I do not mean to discredit the above poster (never got personal since this blog started with cbn shutdown), simply requesting some information.

As mentioned in my previous post, I am thinking of dropping by Telecave to judge pic/sound quality, actually today evening if possible.

But if the 30min Ad comment is true, hmm... might have to re-evaluate my plans.

Anonymous said...

dunno about dishtv and tata sky, but indian local cable (i mean, REAL "cable" operators, who use WIRES.. not mmds or anythin) definitely have adds on hbo and other movie channels. ive been there. can a dish tv subscriber respond. are there adds on hbo on dishtv as well?

LoverlordStriker said...

DishTV English Movie channels

HBO- Ad supported
Star Movies: Ad supported (Indian Feed, DTV will get the same feed with same amount of ads)
MGM: Commercial Free
Sony PIX: Ad Supported
Zee Studio: Ad supported (same as DTV feed)
Turner Classic Movies: Commercial Free

90% of feeds DTV has are Indian and the ad content on these channels is the same as DishTV.

Anonymous said...

Thks loverlordstriker

But my question was:
"please confirm if DISHTV feed of HBO & Star Movies does indeed have ads every 30min?"

I used Comet for 7 years, and never did they interrupt a movie for Ads on their HBO & Star movies feed. Ads were ALWAYS shown before/after the movie.

Please confirm if DISHTV feed of HBO & Star Movies does indeed have ads every 30min (including in the middle of a movie)?

Anonymous said...

Why this blog only talking about Pay television services, specially about Dialog TV? Why don't you guys talking more about other major events in TV & Radio industry? You didn't talked anything at leaset mentioned about 13th birthday of Sri Lanka's trend sitting radio station Sirasa FM. Also looks like there isn't any idea to talk about upcoming 10th birthday of Swarnavahini. So what wrong you guys have only to talk about pay television services in this blog, when most importatnt things happening around in TV & Radio industry?

Anonymous said...

we'll talk about what we want to. and you free to do so as well.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

But my question was:
"please confirm if DISHTV feed of HBO & Star Movies does indeed have ads every 30min?"

Yes they do. The Indian feed of HBO & Star Movies do have ads in between movies. Its the same whether you watch them using Cable TV, Dish TV DTH or TataSky.

Vishkid said...

This is taken from the DialogTV form thanks to Vijaya.

For the unguided and mis-informed like LLS - this would serve as a knock back to reality.

Illegality and piracy is well defined in below article - read to your hearts content.

UAE authorities confiscate DishTV and TataSky recievers

From http://www.daijiworld.com/news

Dubai, Mar 11: It was until last week thousands of NRIs in the UAE carrying Dish TV or TATA Sky receivers walked freely through Dubai airport without any problems. The Indian Direct to Home systems [DTH] offers more than 100 Indian Satellite TV channels which can be viewed by paying mere Rs 300 per month. This has made viewing over 100 channels very cheap as compared to the rates of the official channel distributors in the UAE e-phela and e-vision.

Several subscribers to e-pehela and e-vision have unsubscribed or de-graded their subscription after the successful installation of Dish TVs in their homes.

The Dish TV cost less than Rs 3,000 and thereafter Rs 300 every month saves about 30 % to 80% of the fees payable to e-vision and e-pehela in UAE. Further several additional channels like Zee Kannada, ETV, Sony Set Max, Aaj Tak, IBN-CNN can be viewed without additional payment.

"I think, e-vision must have complained to the authorities to stop carrying Dish TV receivers to UAE. I bought one to enjoy the world cup cricket coverage as our building has still no e-vision connections. At the scanner machine in the airport, my receiver was confiscated. Several other passengers were also stopped at the scanner machine for carrying the equipment," said a Mangalorean who landed through Air India Express on Thursday.

"Many people were bringing the Dish TV systems successfully without any problem and so we too brought one. But we are not lucky enough to carry away with our TATA sky receiver. I think we have to upgrade our e-vision subscription to watch the world cup on Fox Sports,” said another woman to daijiworld.com. She too had arrived on the same day on Air India Express.

Detaining receivers at the airport is the only way to stop Dish TV service in UAE, as it may not be possible to block the transmission of channels to these receivers. Those who have already installed the receivers may find themselves lucky, but authorities say that, viewing TV channels through un-authorized Dish TV or TATA SKY is illegal!

How does TATA sky and Dishtv work in Middle East?

While the new direct-to-home service providers may go gaga, talking about its technological advances, consumers have already started taking advantage of loopholes in the satellite system. Check this out: Non resident Indians based out if Dubai, which follows the pay TV regime, are routing their entertainment signals via India.

Tata Sky and Dish TV, the Indian DTH systems, are being purchased in various parts of the country and carted off to Dubai and other parts of the United Arab Emirates where they are being lapped up by NRIs who were paying close to Rs 1,800 per month. Close to 10,000 Indians residing in the Gulf have subscribed to either the Tata Sky or Dish TV service in India, and have installed it in their homes in Dubai, getting a cheap deal.

"All you need is a dish on your terrace, which is already installed in several of these countries and you just align it in the direction of the satellite transmitting the signal with the set-top box (STB) purchased and activated in India. You just have to connect the dish there and you are in business," says a Dubai-based resident.

Close to 10% of the DTH connections sold in India, are being actively viewed in Dubai and other Middle East countries, estimate industry sources. "It makes sense to get the connection from India as it costs about Rs 300 which is payable in India. In fact, many of us have subscribed for the entire year package to avoid increase in rates later," says another resident using the Tata Sky service.

The footprint for Tata Sky (INSAT-4A) and Dish TV (NSS-6) is up to the Arabian Gulf. According to residents of the Gulf, the signal quality they receive is up to 24%, while the minimum quality required is 18%.

Tata Sky CEO Vikram Kaushik said: "Piracy is taking place across the region in all our neighbouring countries. However, the moment we notice that the boxes are not in the location they are meant to be, we disconnect them. In fact, we have been approached by distributors from the neighbouring countries to provide the Tata-Sky service, but since the laws do not allow it, we have abstained from doing so."

Dish TV business head Jawahar Goel added: "We are aware of the problem, But there is little that can be done. The only way we control it is to trace the absence of a box and disconnect the service."

While there may not be any official distributors, the neighbouring countries seem to have a lot of self-appointed distributors who can be contacted for installations as well as purchase of the box.

Dismissing the numbers as marginal, Kaushik said the piracy levels are too insignificant to become a matter of concern. However, the numbers are increasing, with the convenience of TV viewing spreading like wild fire. But are the DTH players really impacted? "Not as long as they continue to get their subscription payment. The actual victims are service providers in the region, who lose customers to this illegal alternative,” said an industry expert.