Piracy never pays, in fact, trying to save a few bucks from streaming illegal shows can end up with hefty fines instead. On top of that, trying to make money off of selling illegal TV boxes will land you in hot water such as this trio who were fined RM39,000 for selling unauthorised Android boxes. In a recent case, a business owner and his salesperson were charged and fined RM40,000 in total for selling TV boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised content as well as TV boxes without SIRIM certification.

Both pleaded guilty and paid the fine at the Kuala Lumpur Session Court (Cyber) on 4 August 2023. Back on 21 June 2022, three android boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised Astro content were confiscated by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM)'s team from the Commercial Crime Investigation Department during a raid at a kiosk in Komplexs Emart, Kuala Lumpur. The owner of the kiosk, Yap Kim Fatt (42) and his salesperson, Chu Kar Wai (29) were charged under Section 43AA (1) of the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022.

The Individuals were further charged for violating Regulation 16(1)(b) of the Communications and Multimedia (Technical Standards) Regulations 2000, which may lead to imprisonment for up to six years, or a fine of up to RM100,000 or both, if convicted.

The Court fined each individual RM15,000 under the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022 and another RM5,000 under the Communications and Multimedia Regulations 2000, resulting in a total fine of RM40,000. Both pleaded guilty to all the charges and paid the fine. The case was led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nurilya Ellyna Nor Azmal.

At the hearing on 5 April this year, both individuals were granted court bail of RM15,000 each as they pleaded not guilty to their charges.

In a separate case last week, a salesperson was fined RM20,000 by the Ampang Session Court for selling TV boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised Astro content.

The Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022 was gazetted on 10 February 2022 and the enforcement of the law was implemented by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) on 18 March 2022.

The key impact of the amendment is the criminalisation of the sale of Illicit Streaming Devices and associated software applications that allow unauthorised access to copyright content. Anyone found guilty can be fined a minimum of RM10,000 to a maximum of RM200,000 or be imprisoned for up to 20 years, or both.

If you have any information on piracy activities, please contact the following: National Scam Response Centre’s (NSRC) 997 hotline, CCID Infoline 013-211 1222, KPDNHEP through hotline 1-800-886- 800 or 03-8882 6088 at the Enforcement Command Centre, WhatsApp at 019-279 4317, email to [email protected] or via Ez ADU app.

Image credit: Piotr Cichosz on Unsplash