Iran pirate movie
Iran state television channel broadcast pirate movie ripped from site banned by Iranian government.iStock

Oh the irony. An Iranian state television channel dropped a clanger after it broadcast a movie to its viewing public that was ripped from a pirate movie website – the same pirate site that is banned by the Iranian government.

When the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting channel TV3 aired a Hong Kong movie called "Saving General Yang" viewers noticed there was a glaring watermark on the bottom-right of the screen that read 'Tinymoviez.co' – a popular pirate website that's actually banned in the country. Iranian entertainment websites who discovered the rip-off swiftly took pictures and posted them online.

Iran pirate movie
Oops. Iran state TV broadcasts a pirated movie.Caffe Cinema

As Torrent Freak reports this isn't the first time Iranian television has been seen to broadcast pirate content, as it is supposedly quite a common occurrence with watermarks also appearing on other movies and TV shows such as Django Unchained, Game of Thrones and even a football match blatantly recorded from Al Jazeera and then re-broadcast. In this case Fifa stepped in to intervene but with the other cases it appears Iran has a sneaky way of getting away with it.

While you would expect lawsuits to be crashing through Iran's front door, the country's copyright laws have been designed to protect content copyrighted by Iranians, not those from anywhere else. The article claims the Iranian government, while a member of the World Intellectual Property Organisation which should in theory protect against just this sort of act, never signed the copyright treaty so pirating content is actually legal. The only reason why the Tinymoviez site is banned is because it features nudity.

So while Iran isn't doing anything wrong by their own laws it's not exactly sending out the right message or helping to clamp down on intellectual property theft major movie studios and producers are fighting against.