Astro lauds clampdown on piracy

Astro Malaysia Holdings Berhad has welcomed the recent action against sellers of illicit streaming devices with two prosecutions in court.

Astro’s director of regulatory Laila Saat told Twentytwo13 that piracy has become so pervasive that many have forgotten it is theft.

“We will continue to work with the authorities and content partners to send a strong message that content piracy is theft, illegal and punishable by law,” Laila said.

On Feb 8, a company director of All IT Hypermarket Sdn Bhd was charged at the Shah Alam Sessions Court with promoting hardware and software which allow the bypassing of technological protection measures on copyright broadcast work.

According to the Domestic Trade and Consumerism Ministry, the company was selling Long TV android boxes which contained copyright broadcasts at 4.55pm on Sept 2, 2020 in Shah Alam.

The offence was in violation of Section 41(1)(ha) of the Copyright Act 1987. The director pleaded guilty to the charge and the court set March 1 for sentencing.

At another Sessions Court in Shah Alam yesterday, Ng Lee Lee, a director of a mobile accessory company, was fined RM30,000 for possessing media boxes that contained software to illegally obtain paid television channel content.

Ng, 46, was slapped with six charges of possessing six iBoite-X media boxes which contained the MyTV.apk software to wrongfully obtain the content applications service provided by Measat Broadcast Network System Sdn Bhd. Measat is owned and operated by Astro.

Ng pleaded guilty to all six charges. She is the first person to be sentenced under Section 232 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Laila said the estimated loss to the industry and Malaysian economy due to piracy is over RM3 billion annually with RM500 million in taxes and thousands of jobs at risk.

“Piracy is the biggest scourge of the industry, stealing from every single person in the creative ecosystem from actors, writers, producers, directors and cameraman, thus hampering development.

“If piracy is left unchecked, it will retard the entertainment industry as it doesn’t make economic sense for anyone to create or invest in premium content be it ‘Ola Bola’ or rights to the FIFA World Cup, only to have them stolen and sold illegally.”

KL Gangster 2, a 2013 movie, saw its box office collections suffer severely when the movie was pirated before its theatrical release. It only made RM4.9 million after its cinema run ended, against earlier estimates of RM15 million.

Besides android boxes, content owners and creators have also seen pirated movies and software being sold on household e-commerce platforms.

Here’s the round-up of The News Normal today.

DIDIK TV TO ENHANCE LEARNING DURING PANDEMIC

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin launched a special terrestrial education television channel, DidikTV Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (DidikTV KPM), today.

DidikTV KPM, which started airing earlier today, can be viewed through channel 107 on MYTV, 147 on Astro and ntv7 on TV Unifi, from 7am to midnight daily.

It is aimed at helping students who are learning from home and do not have gadgets or have poor Internet connectivity.

DidikTV KPM will broadcast programmes based on the Education Ministry’s curriculum and co-curriculum, as well as news on the world of education from pre-school to Form 6, edutainment programmes and student-generated content.

MALAYSIA TO SIGN VACCINE PROCUREMENT CONTRACT WITH JOHNSON & JOHNSON

Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said positive clinical information and the recommendation from the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee has led the government to procure Covid-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.

Khairy said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba will soon sign a Covid-19 vaccine procurement contract with the company and the vaccine will then be sent to the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency for evaluation.

Johnson & Johnson had last month announced its single-dose Janssen vaccine. Today, South Africa became the first country in the world to roll out the Janssen vaccine after the first batch of vaccines arrived in the country on Tuesday night.

RESTORATION OF ICONIC TAIPING MARKET BY MARCH 2023

The restoration work on Taiping’s century-old iconic market is expected to be completed by March 22, 2023.

Costing almost RM9 million, restoration work on the wet market started on Jan 21.

Taiping Municipal Council president Khairul Amir Mohamad Zubir said the facelift had to be carefully planned to ensure it followed the guidelines set by the Heritage Department.

“This is because Taiping Market, built in 1880, is the oldest market in Malaysia and the iconic building has been the pride of the local community and popular among visitors,” he said in a statement.

SPORTS SHOULD BE ABOUT FUN … AND MORE FUN

The joy of winning a gold medal is intoxicating. But strangely, the euphoria does not do anything to cure the gaping economic wound of the people or boost their financial wellness, writes Muhammad Yunus Zakariah.

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