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Malaysia Charges Duo for Selling TV Boxes with Unauthorised Content

Two individuals have been charged at the Kuala Lumpur Session Court (Cyber) under Section 43AA of the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022 for selling TV Boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised content. This sets a precedent as the first case charged under Section 43AA of the Act since the amendment took effect in March 2022.

On 21 Jun 2022, three android boxes pre-loaded with unauthorised Astro content were confiscated by the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM)’s team from Cyber Crime Investigation Unit, Commercial Crime Investigation Department during a raid at a kiosk in Kompleks Emart, Kuala Lumpur. The owner of the kiosk, Yap Kim Fatt aged 42 years old, and his salesperson, Chu Kar Wai aged 29 years old, were charged under Section 43AA of the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2022.

According to Section 43AA of the Act, any person who commits or facilitates copyright infringement by manufacturing, importing, selling, or letting for hire, distributing, or offering to the public a streaming technology is considered committing an offense and once convicted, can be fined up to RM200,000 (USD$45,000), imprisoned for up to 20 years, or both.

The Individuals were further charged for violating Regulation 16(1)(b) of the Communications and Multimedia (Technical Standards) Regulations 2000, which may lead to imprisonment for up to six years, or a fine of up to RM100,000 (USD$23,000) or both, if convicted.

At the hearing, both individuals pleaded not guilty to their charges and were granted court bail of RM15,000 each.

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 ISDs and associated software applications that allow unauthorised access to copyright content.

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