For selling TV sets that were pre-loaded with illegal Astro content in violation of Section 43AA of the Copyright Act of 1987, Tiew Ai Teng, 38, was charged with a crime and fined RM 20,000 or sentenced to two months in jail by the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court. A guilty plea was entered, and the fine was paid.
Tiew committed the offence on 29 June 2022 at an outlet in EkoCheras Mall, Kuala Lumpur. Tiew was found in possession of 5 Android TV Boxes preloaded with unauthorised content.
Recent legal actions against piracy and copyright infringement:
- On 3 April 2023, a 22-year-old student was fined by the Kuala Lumpur Magistrate’s Court for having in his possession an unauthorised link to a popular local TV drama series on his devices
- On 5 April 2023, two individuals were charged at the Kuala Lumpur Session Court (Cyber) for selling TV boxes with unauthorised Astro content
- On 13 April 2023, two individuals were fined RM14,000 in total by the Kluang Magistrate’s Court for selling TV boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised Astro content
The Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022 was gazetted on 10 February 2022. 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 (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.