S’pore ISP Will Soon Block Illegal TV Box Apps That Stream Free Contents

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A wise old man once said: “There’s a pirate inside each and every one of us, just waiting to appear and go ‘Hohoho'”.

And while I didn’t get what he was saying at first, I soon got it while growing up. Mysterious as it sounds, it’s actually pretty clear-cut.

Downloading illegal movies off Pirate Bay and going ‘Hohoho’, that is.

But of course, it’s not just Pirate Bay that grants you access to the Pirate class; a number of other piracy-violation sites fit the bill too. And I haven’t even touched on TV box applications, ‘sweet’ little gestures that make piracy so much more convenient.

Image: Tenor

And yet, if you’ve read the headline, you’ll know that good times don’t last. As such it’s with deep regret that I inform each and every one of you wannabe pirates, that the TV box applications we know and secretly love…

Are soon coming to a heart-wrenching end.

For according to Channel News Asia, the High Court has asked for Internet service providers to block off access to TV box applications that “allow users to stream and download content like movies, TV shows and live sports channels”.

Image: Giphy

Be a buyer, not a pirate

That begets the question, though;

How did such an abrupt move come into place?

Apparently, the development follows the hearing of a motion that had been filed in October by Singnet, Fox Networks Group Singapore, NGC Network Asia, Fox International Channels (US) and The Football Association Premier League.

And as such apps “flagrantly infringe copyright by acting as gateways to websites streaming pirated content”, according to the Asia Video Industry Association’s (AVIA) Coalition Against Piracy (CAP), the motion was eventually passed.

“These apps are preloaded on TV boxes which are overtly sold in retail outlets such as Sim Lim Square, IT exhibitions and on popular e-markets,” CAP added.

The motion was held in the High Court on 2 Nov, and Judicial Commissioner Dedar Singh Gill went on to approve the proposed orders against eight authentication server domains.

A real sucker punch for individuals who just got themselves a TV box, I’m sure.

Image: Tenor

Incidentally, one such app is UBTV, a pre-loaded app owned by China-based company Unblock Tech.

According to its website, the app has more than 500 agents and distributors worldwide; and claims to service users from countries like Singapore, Malaysia, USA, Canada and the UK.

Malware

But perhaps there’s a silver lining in sight, as pirated content risk do, no matter how low, contain a risk of getting affected by malware. Indeed, as CAP general manager puts it…

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