Premier League piracy win as illegal streaming device sellers jailed in Singapore

Football’s English Premier League has claimed a win against the piracy of its content after an electronics retailer in Singapore was convicted of selling illegal streaming devices (ISDs).

Synnex Trading provided illegal broadcasts of the Premier League and other entertainment content. The company and its director Jia Xiaofeng have been found guilty of four criminal charges of copyright infringement.

Jia has been sentenced to 12 weeks in jail and will pay a fine of S$5,400 (€3,600/$4,000), with Synnex Trading ordered to pay a fine of S$160,800.

The Premier League noted that Jia sold streaming devices known as Android TV boxes from his electronics on Geylang Road. The boxes were loaded with apps that provided unauthorised access to films, TV shows, video-on-demand content and live sports.

According to the Premier League, the ISDs were falsely advertised as legal and containing legitimately sourced content.

The conviction comes after the company director of Singaporean retailer An-Nahl was in April fined after pleading guilty to a criminal charge of copyright infringement. The sentencing was made in connection with the Synnex Trading case and the Premier League said the convictions mark the first-ever successful prosecutions of ISD sellers in Singapore.

The prosecutions were led by the Premier League, Singtel, StarHub and Fox Networks Group.

Kevin Plumb, director of legal services for the Premier League, said: “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.”