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Fine for Astro ISD pirate

October 2, 2023

By Colin Mann

The Petaling Jaya Sessions Court in Malaysia has charged salesperson, Nazwan Bin Zainal Abidin RM33,000 (€6,643) for selling TV boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised Astro content under Section 43AA(1)(h) Copy Right Act 1987. He pleaded guilty to the charges and paid the fine.

Nazwan committed the offence on June 14th 2023 at a retail outlet at Taman Equine in Seri Kembangan, Selangor. He was found in possession of three Android TV Boxes preloaded with unauthorised content from Astro.

In 2023 alone, Astro has filed nine legal actions against piracy and copyright infringement where a total of 10 individuals were found guilty and fined accordingly.

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

The key impact of the amendment is the criminalisation of the sale of illicit streaming devices (ISDs) 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 up to 20 years, or both.

The amendments to the Copyright Act followed the declaration by the Intellectual Property High Court in Kuala Lumpur in May 2021 that the sale, offer for sale, distribution and/or supply of ISDs that can provide unauthorised access to copyrighted works, constitutes copyright infringement under the Copyright Act 1987.

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