Source: ST

Illegal streaming devices retailer jailed for three months, fined in landmark case

A local electronics retailer on Wed (30 Oct) was sentenced to three months of jail and a S$5,400 fine after being found guilty of providing access to illegal broadcasts of Premier League football and other entertainment content via streaming devices.

Jia Xiaofeng, the director of Synnex Trading, was found to have sold streaming devices, commonly known as Android TV boxes, from his electronics store on Geylang Road.

The boxes – which were falsely advertised as legal and containing legitimately sourced content – were found to have been loaded with apps enabling unauthorised access to films, TV shows, video-on-demand and live sports including Premier League football matches.

Synnex Trading was ordered to pay a fine of $160,800 for the same four criminal charges of copyright infringement.

Kevin Plumb, Premier League Director of Legal Services, said that the above case demonstrates that “there are serious consequences for sellers of illegal streaming devices”, and that “the Premier League will prosecute those responsible for the piracy of our content”.

“We have fantastic passionate fans in Singapore and we are protecting those who watch Premier League content in the right way. Those who don’t, leave themselves open to a number of risks including becoming victims of fraud or identity theft.

“This sentencing shows that this is not a grey area, and that selling these devices is against the law,” he added.

“We have a team based in our Singapore office committed to protecting our intellectual property rights and fighting piracy and we will continue to investigate and pursue all suppliers of illegal streaming services in the region,” Plumb stressed.

Previously in April, the Premier League, Singtel, StarHub and Fox Networks Group had also managed to prosecute another supplier, An-Nahl, in connection with the present case.

The trading firm and its director Abdul Nagib Abdul Aziz were fined S$1,200 after pleading guilty to one criminal charge of copyright infringement.