It is estimated that the country's entertainment and media industry loses about RM3 billion annually to digital piracy, and a further RM500 million in taxes - putting thousands of jobs at risk.

With such whopping figures at stake, it is not surprising that the government is coming down hard on piracy and illegal streaming of licensed content.

A fine of up to RM200,000 or imprisonment not exceeding 20 years for those who commit offences relating to streaming technology is among the new subsections in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2021, which was tabled for the first reading in Dewan Rakyat, earlier this week.

According to the bill, tabled on Monday by Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Rosol Wahid, no person shall commit or facilitate copyright infringement in any work, among others, by making a streaming technology for sale or hire, as well as importing a streaming technology.

Any person who contravenes the subsection shall be liable to a fine of not less than RM10,000 and not more than RM200,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 20 years, or both, upon conviction.

Putrajaya's crackdown against piracy has been witnessed in several court cases this year.

On Feb 8, an IT company in Shah Alam became the first company to be charged in court for selling technology or equipment for the purpose of the circumvention of technological protection measure. The company director pleaded guilty to the charge.

Then on Feb 16, a woman pleaded guilty to a charge of possessing six TV media boxes which allowed for illegal streaming of Astro's content via the internet. The accused was later fined RM3,000.

Source: Bernama
Photo source: Astro Awani