By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
On behalf of the English Premier League and other media companies, the Coalition against Piracy (CAP), which is backed by the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia and acts on behalf of major content companies against copyright infringements in Asia, has initiated a private prosecution in the State Court in Singapore, under the Copyright Act, against the unlawful streaming of copyrighted programmes on entertainment boxes distributed in Singapore.
These boxes are not in themselves illegal, but come with ‘apps’ that allow their users to stream copyright material without having to pay anything for it.
The CAP claims in the legal proceedings that these boxes are “illegal devices”.
The proceedings against the distributor and retailer of the boxes in Singapore relate to English Premier League matches, FOX TV family movies and the National Geographic Channel.
If found guilty, the offenders could face prison sentences of up to six months and maximum fines of S$20,000 (US$ 15,132).
In a joint media statement, the claimants said that:
“The alarming proliferation of piracy and illicit streaming devices that are used to view copyright-protected content hurts both consumers and producers … We will continue to take concerted and decisive action against content piracy through public education as well as via legal channels to uphold intellectual property rights.”
It appears that, despite its well-known stance on upholding the legal order, it is reported that some 14 % of Singaporeans have admitted to accessing pirated contents through illegal steaming devices.
As far as the English Premier League is concerned, this is the latest legal action that is being taken by the League, as part of the ongoing policy to crack down on copyright infringers of the screening of its matches, several examples of which have previously been posted on the GSLTR website.
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘email@example.com’