Brisk sales continue for TV box sellers despite ongoing court case

SINGAPORE– Merchants of Android TV boxes are keeping a close watch on a private prosecution case versus two fellow TELEVISION box sellers however have no plans to stop sales at the moment.

Sales of such Android TELEVISION boxes continue to be vigorous at Sim Lim Square during a go to by TODAY on Saturday (Jan 13).

Retailers there declare that their products– which come preloaded with apps that let users stream copyrighted content– are various from those pointed out in the legal case as they are not “specifically designed and adjusted” to make copies of copyrighted content.

” We are just doing streaming,” said a shopkeeper at Amconics Technology who declined to be called.

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On Friday, 4 rights owners– telcos StarHub and Singtel, home entertainment giant Fox and the arranging body of the English Premier League (EPL)– filed private prosecution charges versus Synnex Trading and An-Nahl for the alleged offense of “wilfully infringing” copyright”.

Mr Joe Guo Jun, 30, a TELEVISION box salesperson at MT, situated on the third floor of Sim Lim Square, stated the TV boxes sold at the store were simply platforms for individuals to enjoy more content on their television, and “it is up to the users how they wish to use it”.

The TELEVISION boxes come preloaded with apps that can be used to access illegal content, Mr Guo who hails from Shandong stated the software was installed by a producer in Shenzhen, China, and not by MT or its personnel.

He worried that he typically discusses to his customers that it is “absolutely against the law” to access unauthorised websites and prohibited material through the devices.

A 73-year-old set-top box seller who just wanted to be referred to as Mr Tan included: “We tell individuals not to download. If the stores here assist individuals to download, that’s where you can get into difficulty.”

As evidence, Mr Tan showed TODAY (envisioned below) clauses on its receipts which mentioned: “Please do not download movie/dramas (sic) etc” and “Downloading is an offense under the copyright law”.

He added: “We are streaming through applications that can also be packed onto Android phones. If TELEVISION box sellers are considered prohibited, will authorities pursue phone and computer sellers too?”

Like many sellers, Mr Tan, a previous mathematics teacher, is watching advancements on the continuous legal case closely.

“If the case is not favourable, I simply shut down business (and retire),” Mr Tan added.

A representative of CH2 Technologies– the parent business of a couple of TV box brand names here which dominate the scene at Sim Lim Square and in IT shows– informed TODAY it does not provide channel memberships or video-on-demand services.

“We are just helping customers who wish to watch YouTube, films or dramas,” he said.

Still, Israeli business person Lior Nabat, 47, who was browsing for set-top boxes at the electronics shopping mall, noted that there are sellers who attempt to surpass the competitors by providing a variety of unlawful streaming apps.

Formerly, set-top boxes– utilized to stream films, television shows or sports programs– had actually decoded encrypted broadcasts offered by StarHub. The sale and distribution of these decoders are unlawful under the Broadcasting Act.

In the previous three to 5 years, brand-new innovations have actually permitted pirates to prevent the law, and the set-top boxes nowadays that use apps to stream material do not have decoders and are considered legal.

Last month, the Union Versus Piracy– whose members consist of significant home entertainment business– said the devices help with “widespread” piracy in Singapore.

In the event before the courts here, Synnex and its director, Jia Xiaofeng, were served with four charges each: One for the ownership of 104 media boxes “particularly created and adapted” for making copies of copyrighted last Might at its store in Geylang, and 3 for supposedly assisting clients make “unauthorised copies” of programmes or movies between May and September last year.

These include EPL football matches, as well as programs on cable channels such as Star Sports, Astro, TVB, and National Geographic.

An-Nahl, which utilized to carry Synnex’s set-top boxes, and its director Abdul Nagib Abdul Aziz, were served 2 charges each. They were for stocking 12 set-top boxes at its store in Tanjong Katong Complex, and assisting a customer use the media box to make unauthorised copies of EPL matches and Fox programmes last Might.

Asked if more set-top box sellers would be hauled to court, Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow legal representative Lim Ren Jun– who is representing Singtel, StarHub, Premier League and Fox– informed TODAY on Saturday that his customers are “considering their choices and will not think twice to take robust action to implement their legal rights”.

Mr Lim declined discuss the length of time his clients’ examinations had persisted before they litigated, just revealing that the Magistrate’s Problems preceding Friday’s charges were heard before the State Courts’ criminal activity computer registry on Nov 20 and 21 last year. No mediation case had actually been conducted to this day, he included.

On why StarHub, Singtel, Premier League and Fox are working together in the event, Mr Lim described his customers’ joint declaration, pronouncing their stand that “it is imperative that intellectual property rights are protected to offer content creators their simply due”.

“Piracy makes it untenable for manufacturers to keep creating content for the public’s pleasure and Singapore can not successfully motivate development when intellectual property rights are continuously trampled on,” they composed.

The rights and telcos owners added that they will continue to take “collective and decisive action” versus content piracy through public education along with legal channels, keeping in mind the “alarming expansion” of streaming gadgets that are utilized to see copyright-protected material “injures both consumers and manufacturers”.