StarHub destroyed over 300 illegal set-top boxes at a site in Kranji this morning. The boxes were seized by Singapore Customs and they were handed over to StarHub for mass destruction.
Illegal set-top boxes, otherwise known as unauthorised decoders, illegally decode StarHub TV's encrypted broadcast transmissions and the importation, possession, sale and use of the boxes contravene Singapore’s Copyright and Broadcasting laws.
StarHub has made known publicly that it will not hesitate to take appropriate action to curb the sale of illegal set-top boxes in Singapore.
Said Ms Andrea Tay, StarHub’s Assistant Vice-President of Pay TV Services, “StarHub respects and upholds intellectual property rights of content owners and will take all necessary steps to protect our rights, and the rights of our content providers. Only authorised set-top boxes provided by StarHub should be used to access our content.”
Ms Tay added, “We would advise the public to abide by the law and respect intellectual property rights. Members of the public who purchase these unauthorised decoders may experience service quality issues, and are exposing themselves to legal liabilities.”
"Video piracy in all its forms undercuts the legitimate interests of content producers, distributors and consumers alike," said Mr Simon Twiston Davies, CEO of regional trade organisation, CASBAA.
"Media savvy economies such as Singapore are especially vulnerable to the activities of the pay TV thieves when they destroy the value of TV and movie productions, undercutting the hard-earned returns on investment by the creative communities. Pay TV theft really does affect everyone. The seizure of these pirate boxes by Singapore Customs is praiseworthy, and we hope that other governments can increase their vigilance with respect to trade in piracy hardware and software."
In last year alone, StarHub took two separate illegal set-top box infringement cases to court and secured convictions for both. Other than taking legal action against such wrongdoers, StarHub has also employed technological means to render such unauthorised decoders useless.