LONDON: The Premier League has helped bring down an electronics retailer in Singapore that was selling illegal streaming devices (ISDs) providing access to pirate broadcasts of English soccer’s top flight and other entertainment content.
A lengthy court battle resulted in Synnex Trading and its director Jia Xiaofeng being found guilty of four criminal charges of copyright infringement. Jia has been sentenced to 12 weeks in jail and ordered to pay a fine of SGD$5,400 (US$4,000), while the company has been lumped with a SGD$160,800 (US$118,000) fine.
The Premier League said Jia had been selling Android TV boxes from his electronics store on Geylang Road. The ISDs were apparently falsely advertised to the public as legal and containing legitimately sourced content despite providing unauthorised access to films, TV shows, video-on-demand and live sports.
The conviction comes after April’s sentencing of the director of local retailer An-Nahl, another supplier in connection with the case, who pleaded guilty to one criminal charge of copyright infringement.
Along with the Premier League, the prosecutions were led by Singapore telecommunications firms StarHub and Singtel, the latter of which holds rights to English soccer’s top flight, as well as broadcasting company Fox Networks Group.
“This case shows 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,” said Kevin Plumb, the Premier League’s director of legal services. “This sentencing shows that this is not a grey area, and that selling these devices is against the law.
“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.”
The conviction marks the first ever successful prosecutions of ISD sellers in Singapore and the first since the Premier League opened an international office in the country to combat piracy and support its broadcast partners in the Asia-Pacific region.
The news marks the second piracy win for the Premier League this month after it helped to convict a retailer in London for selling set top boxes with access to BeoutQ, the Saudi Arabia-based pirate service that has been illegally distributing premium sports content for over two years.
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