ISD seller jailed and fined US$170,000

In a landmark case, an electronics retailer in Singapore has been convicted of selling illegal streaming devices (ISDs).

Synnex Trading, along with director Jia Xiaofeng, have been found guilty of four criminal charges of copyright infringement. The company was found to be selling devices that provided access to illegal broadcasts of entertainment content, specifically Premier League football.

The director has been sentenced to 12 weeks in jail and fined US$5,400, while the company has been fined US$160,800.

Rather than selling devices which users could then modify for illegal means, the store, located on Geylang Road in Singapore, was explicitly selling streaming devices that were loaded with apps that provided unauthorised access to VOD content and live sports. 

The company was also being falsely advertised to the public as legal and containing legitimately sourced content.

This follows the sentencing of another supplier in Singapore earlier this year. In April, the company director of local retailer An-Nahl pled guilty to one criminal charge of copyright infringement and was fined.

These two landmark rulings were the first times that Singaporian ISD sellers have been successfully prosecuted.

The cases were prosecuted by the Premier League, Singtel, StarHub and Fox Networks Group.

Premier League director of legal services Kevin Plumb said: “This case shows there are serious consequences for sellers of illegal streaming devices and that the Premier League will prosecute those responsible for the piracy of our content. This sentencing shows that this is not a grey area, and that selling these devices is against the law. We have fantastic passionate fans in Singapore and we are protecting those who watch Premier League content in the right way. Those who don’t, leave themselves open to a number of risks including becoming victims of fraud or identity theft.

“We have a team based in our Singapore office committed to protecting our intellectual property rights and fighting piracy and we will continue to investigate and pursue all suppliers of illegal streaming services in the region.”