Legal View

Accused Internet streaming services pirate gets R2k bail

Read time 2min 00sec

Last week the South African Police Service (SAPS) arrested a suspect in Cape Town for illegally selling pirate Internet streaming devices and online content subscriptions.

The investigation followed information received by the Police's Provincial Commercial Detective Unit under the command of General Jeremy Veary regarding pirate activities that enable people to view MultiChoice SA content as well as that of other international TV providers illegally.

Irdeto, a subsidiary of the MultiChoice Group (MCG) that deals in cyber security, worked closely with SAPS in the investigation, which led to the arrest and confiscation of a number of pirate Internet streaming devices and server equipment.

The accused appeared in court on 5 December and the case was postponed to February 2020. He was released on R2 000 bail.

“We are proud that we have been able to support the South African police in this important investigation and arrest,” says Joe Heshu, group executive for corporate affairs at MCG.

“Content redistribution is a growing problem and has emerged as one of the main forms of piracy over recent years, particularly when it comes to live content such as high-profile sports events. It is important for us to work with the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure we swiftly and purposefully address this criminal activity.”

MultiChoice says in SA it is illegal to provide content to any person or any third-party without the consent of the rights holders in accordance with the Copyright and Electronic Communications and Transactions Acts.

“Content theft has become a full-fledged criminal enterprise, providing illegal subscriptions to compete with established operators, and actions like this are crucial in the fight against piracy,” says Frikkie Jonker, cyber security anti-piracy director, Irdeto.

“To effectively combat piracy, content owners, operators and service providers must rely on cutting-edge anti-piracy technologies to identify the source of pirated content and allow for its immediate shutdown. Irdeto is committed to continuing to work proactively with customers, partners and law enforcement to identify and prosecute the parties involved in large commercial streaming piracy networks.”

SAPS has said it is planning more arrests as it focuses its attention on other pirate Internet streaming operations in SA.

See also