A British man and a Thai woman have been charged with copyright infringement for running an illegal TV streaming service.
Those charged were found to be running the online service, as well as selling Android boxes preloaded with software that enabled people to watch pirated broadcasts of English Premier League football matches.
The pair were charged with infringing the English Premier League’s (EPL) copyright in Thailand and have been ordered to pay 15 million baht in fines, while 7 million baht of funds seized by the DSI will also be kept by the state.
The suspects also received a total of three and a half years suspended prison sentences and ordered to pay an additional 3 million baht in fines related to running the illegal operation from Thailand.
The total amount of fines is believed to be the biggest ever paid for copyright infringement in Thailand.
The case brought about by the English Premier League (EPL) working in conjunction with Thailand’s Department of Special Investigations.
The initial arrests were made back in May 2017, when police raided several properties in Bangkok, which were used to run the ‘365 Sport’ streaming service, as well as Thaiexpat.tv, Hkexpat.tv, Inoexpat.tv, Vietexpat.tv and Euroexpat.tv.
Following the raids, two British men and a Thai woman were arrested. The two Britons were later released on bail at the request of the British Embassy.
Thaivisa understands one of the men later fled Thailand and remains on the run. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, as well as for several other people who are suspected of being involved in the illegal streaming operation.
“This is one of the most substantial compensations for piracy-related crimes in Thailand and is a stark warning to anyone involved in the illegal supply of Premier League streams,” said Kevin Plumb, the director of legal services at the Premier League.
“Attitudes towards, and acceptance of, these types of operators in Asia are changing, which is good news for fans who watch Premier League content through legitimate channels. Those who don’t should be aware that subscribing to services run by organised crime gangs means they risk, not just the content disappearing when the service gets disrupted by legal action, but also exposing themselves to the threat of fraud and malware.”
“We are committed to pursuing all those involved in providing illegal access to our content and are grateful to the Courts and the public prosecutor for acknowledging and supporting the importance of fighting piracy. Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation is one of the leading anti-piracy forces we work with and we thank them and the public prosecutor for their support in prosecuting this case.”
Meanwhile, Pol Col Phaisit Wongmeuang said there were many cases of Thailand being used as a base for copyright infringements still under investigation.
The action against the three defendants was part of Thai government and justice ministry actions regarding the digital economy and piracy.
Many Thai and foreign companies have been hit by the piracy, he said.
(Source: – Thai Visa News)