Advanced Television

Hong Kong: World Cup piracy arrests

June 25, 2018

By Colin Mann

Hong Kong Customs has conducted an anti-piracy operation and detected a suspected case of illegal re-broadcasting of pay-TV World Cup programmes on an Internet broadcasting platform. During the operation, Customs arrested two men aged 21 and 60 respectively. A batch of computer devices with an estimated market value of about HK$20,000 (€2,190) was seized.

Customs earlier received information alleging that a user of an Internet broadcasting platform has illegally re-broadcast pay-TV World Cup programmes during the live broadcast of the World Cup matches. After an in-depth investigation with the assistance of the copyright owner, Customs took enforcement action yesterday and arrested two men in Tung Chung who were suspected to be related to the case.

The two men were live broadcasting the match between Brazil and Costa Rica on the platform VOOV. The match had been selected as a free programme on Viu TV, which operates under the telecommunications giant PCCW, along with Now TV.

Investigation is ongoing and the arrested persons have been released on bail pending further investigation.

During the World Cup matches, Customs will continue to work closely with copyright owners and take stringent enforcement actions against any form of infringing activity.

Customs appeals to members of the public to respect intellectual property right and watch pay-TV programmes through legitimate means. Offenders will be liable to criminal or civil sanctions.

According to the Copyright Ordinance, a person commits an offence if the person sells or lets for hire a relevant device or provides relevant service for the purpose of a circumvention business. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a fine of HK$500,000 and imprisonment for four years.

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