PARIS (Reuters) - Arabsat sent Reuters the following response to our article of June 17 headlined “French court sees no ‘clear and illegal disruption’ in Gulf sports piracy case”. Although we do not agree with some of the statements, we are required to publish this text under French law.
“It is untrue to assert, as reuters.com does in its article entitled “French court sees no ‘clear and illegal disruption’ in Gulf sports piracy case”, that “A judgment of 13 June by the Paris Court (...) found that the beoutQ signals were available on the Arabsat frequencies and accessible from French territory, on the basis of the conclusions of a firm retained by beIN”.
Such a statement is false because the President of the Court on the contrary dismissed “all of beIN’s claims against Arabsat” and ordered “beIN severally liable to pay ARABSAT €25,000 and severally liable to pay Mr Persehaye €6,000 (5,383 pounds) pursuant to Article 700 of the Code of Civil Procedure” (p12 of the order which constitutes the judgment itself).
To prove Arabsat right, the President accepted the evidence provided by Arabsat (reports prepared by Atos/Enensys in the presence of a bailiff and an expert) and dismissed BeIN’s evidence to decide that “the beoutQ’s programs at issue cannot be broadcasted in France over the ARABSAT frequencies referred to in NAGRAVISION’s tests via the Badr-4 satellite” (page 11).
In addition, the President considered that the beoutQ channels are probably broadcasted in France “only by Internet connection (IPTV)” and “not by satellite” (page 11, 3rd §).
The President then dismissed all BeIN’s claims (“It follows that beIN has failed to demonstrate the existence of a ‘manifestly unlawful disturbance’ or evidence of imminent harm that would justify granting against ARABSAT (...) the injunctions to enjoin it from broadcasting in France the beoutQ satellite signal”).
The decision is therefore very clear and unambiguous, contrary to what your article suggests and was undoubtedly rendered in favour of Arabsat, BeIN having been dismissed for all its claims.
We are concerned that your may have been misled. Indeed, if the President considered that the reports provided by BeIN could constitute an admissible element to justify, at the procedural level only, the jurisdiction of the French judge (pages 7 and 8) and the procedural admissibility of Arabsat’s action (legal capacity to be a defendant, pages 8 and 9), the judge limited this point to the procedural level only (“At the stage of the analysis of territorial jurisdiction, the results of the tests produced by the claimants are sufficient to establish that the French Court has jurisdiction”, “This is sufficient to establish that ARABSAT has the legal capacity to be a defendant”).
And she decided to exclude these documents produced by BeIN when it came to checking their validity:
“the tests carried out at ARABSAT’s request by Atos and Enensys contradict the results of NAGRAVISION’s tests produced by the claimants and show that the beoutQ’s programs at issue cannot be broadcasted in France over the ARABSAT frequencies referred to in NAGRAVISION’s tests (...)”.
Reuters Paris bureau