Copyright is the exclusive right to control creative works created by the author, copyright owner and/or performer for a specific period and is governed by the Copyright Act 1987 (hereafter referred to as the Act). Any party that uses any copyrighted works without consent or authorization from the author, copyright owner and/or performer, may be charged with infringement under the Act.
This week, on the 8th of February 2021, a director of a company based in Shah Alam pleaded guilty in court for promoting hardware and software which allow the bypassing of technological protection measures on copyrighted broadcast works. The company of which deals with the selling of Android TV sets can be fined not less than RM 4,000 and not more than RM40,000 for each product related to the offence or imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or both.
The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (MDTCA) stated that the director had pleaded guilty before Sessions Court Judge Rofiah Ahmad and has been given the sentencing date of March 1, 2021.
Based on the charge undertaken by the MDTCA deputy public prosecutor Tan Chiew King, “… the company, on September 2, 2020, at about 4.55pm, is accused of attempting to sell a television device, better known as an Android Box, with the brand name of ‘Long TV’ in Shah Alam, Selangor, which contains copyrighted content for unsanctioned broadcast”.
“The company, located in I-City, Persiaran Multimedia, Seksyen 7, Shah Alam, Selangor has violated Section 41(1) (ha) of the Copyrights Act 1987 for selling any technology or device for the purpose of bypassing any effective technological measures stated under subsection 36A(3) of the same Act,” said the Ministry.
The MDTCA also stated that stern actions will be taken, “… against suppliers and sellers who misuse devices and software with the aim of illegally intercepting and accessing content protected by the owner of his copyrighted works”, further urging the public to channel any information on piracy activities through the 1-800-886-800 hotline or at 03-8882 6088 or via WhatsApp at 019-279 4317.
The case highlights the severity of copyright infringement and the importance of registering your copyright in order to receive protection from others that may use your work without your permission.