Shop Owner Jailed 3 Months for Selling Android TV Boxes; First In S’pore

We all kind of know there are shops that sell Android TV boxes here in Singapore. But there’s no harm in doing that right? 

Well, for the first time in Singapore, a shop owner was sentenced to 12 weeks in jail and fined $5,400 for selling these type of set-top boxes. 

Do This Also Can Go Jail?? 

Image: Giphy

The answer is yes.

TODAYOnline reports that Jia Xiaofeng and his firm, Synnex Trading, was found guilty on Wednesday almost two years after the charges were initially brought up. 

While Jia Xiaofeng was fined $5,400, his company was fined a whopping sum of $160,800. 

Android TV boxes sold by Synnex Trading came with the function of allowing people to stream unauthorised television channels and access various forms of content by activating a subscription. This violated various copyright infringement laws.

Not The Only Case

While Jia Xiaofeng was the first person to be jailed for such a crime, this is not the first time a case like this was seen. 

Abdul Nagib Abdul, the director of another retailer, An-Nahl, was also charged under the Copyright Act. He was sentenced earlier this year in April to a fine of $1,200. 

Why This Is Illegal

There was evidence that showed that other than selling Android TV boxes, Jia Xiaofeng also assisted his customers to activate their subscriptions to the additional applications that were installed in the device. He also helped to fix defective boxes. 

Image: Facebook (Synnex Trading)

The other case mentioned is in a way related to this one because Jia Xiaofeng was the supplier of these Android TV boxes to Abdul Nagib Abdul. He allegedly received a commission of about $20 to $25 for each device he sold to them. 

These devices that were tweaked stored duplicates of copyright content in their random access memory to allow the content to process faster, infringing copyright laws. 

Jia Xiaofeng also did not do anything to stop his buyers from infringing on copyrighted content, instead, the boxes were marketed as a more cost-effective alternative to legal subscriptions. 

Although Synnex Trading managed to make big profits from selling these illegal devices, they landed themselves in big trouble since it was by underhanded means. 

Image: Giphy

I guess one big takeaway from this case is that while it doesn’t seem like much of a big deal to stream a movie online or buy one of these android tv boxes that offer ‘additional perks’, it is, at the end of the day, illegal. 

Now that we know this, we should be careful with our actions even as a buyer because copyright laws really cannot play play.