Heavy fines for Astro piracy
November 22, 2023
By Colin Mann
The Johor Bahru Sessions Court in Malaysia has charged an individual, Lee Ah Moy, for selling TV boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised Astro content under Section 43AA (1)(c) of the Copyright Act 1987. He was fined RM16,000 (€3,140) in default three months imprisonment.
The offence was committed on November 3rd 2022 in a retail outlet in Johor Bahru where two TV Boxes preloaded with unauthorised content were found during the raid.
In a separate court case, the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court had on November 17th 2023 charged an individual, Yee Kwai Weng, for selling TV boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised Astro content under Section 43AA (1)(c) of the Copyright Act 1987. He was fined RM11,000 in default three months imprisonment.
The offence was committed on May 23rd 2023 in a retail outlet in Puchong where one TV Box preloaded with unauthorised content was found during the raid.
Already in 2023, seven individuals have been charged and fined for the same offence under the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022, which 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 up to RM200,000, 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.