MultiChoice assists South African police arrest suspect, in crackdown on piracy

MultiChoice assists South African police arrest suspect, in crackdown on piracy

The South African Police Services, in collaboration with MultiChoice group, have arrested a suspect in connection with illegally selling pirated internet streaming devices and online subscriptions.

"The investigation followed information received by the police's Provincial Commercial Detective Unit under the command of General [Jeremy] Veary regarding these pirate activities that enabled people to view MultiChoice South Africa content as well as that of other international TV providers illegally," said MultiChoice, which owns Dstv, in a statement on Friday.

MultiChoice subsidiary, Irdeto, which specialises in cyber security worked closely with SAPS in the investigation which lead to the arrest and confiscation of a number of pirate internet streaming devices and server equipment. 

The accused appeared in court on December 5 and was released on R2 000 bail. The case was postponed to February 2020. 

In South Africa, it is illegal to provide content to any person or any third party without the consent of the rights holders in accordance with the Copyright and Electronic Communications and Transactions Acts. 

"Content theft has become a full-fledged criminal enterprise, providing illegal subscriptions to compete with established operators, and actions like this are crucial in the fight against piracy," said Anti-Piracy Director at Irdeto, Frikkie Jonker. 

"To effectively combat piracy, content owners, operators and service providers must rely on cutting-edge anti-piracy technologies to identify the source of pirated content and allow for its immediate shutdown."

Head of corporate affairs at MultiChoice Joe Heshu said that they were proud to have supported SAPS in the investigation and arrest. 

"Content redistribution is a growing problem and has emerged as one of the main forms of piracy over recent years, particularly when it comes to live content such as high-profile sports events. It is important for us to work with the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure we swiftly and purposefully address this criminal activity." 

The South African Police Services have indicated they are planning more arrests as they focus their attention on other pirate internet streaming operations in South Africa.