The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) has tabled an amendment to the Copyright Act 1987 (Act 332) that will introduce punishments for offences related to streaming technology. According to the bill, no person shall commit or facilitate copyright infringement in any work, among others, by making a streaming technology for sale or hire, distributing the streaming technology, offering it to the public, as well as importing a streaming technology.
Those who are found guilty of copyright infringement by any of these means will be fined no less than RM10,000 and no more than RM200,000 or a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment or both. If the offence was committed by a company, both the corporate body and individual executives in the firm can be charged.
Moreover, the amendment covers not only software when it comes to copyright infringement, but also hardware that is used for streaming, including devices and even components. Interestingly, a landmark case earlier this year already determined that Android boxes and other illegal streaming software constitute copyright infringement under the Copyright Act.
While the government seems to be serious about clamping down on illegal streaming services, the amendment has just gone through the First Reading in Parlimen. So, it is going to take some time before the amendment becomes the new law of the land.