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Premier League and ACE Commend Vietnam Authorities for Landmark Conviction in Online Piracy Case

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Criminal Sentence for Copyright Infringement is First of its Kind in Vietnam

HANOI, Vietnam, April 22, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Following criminal referrals by the Premier League and the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), on April 19 the People’s Court of Hanoi handed down Vietnam’s first-ever criminal sentence for online copyright infringement against Le Hai Nam, the operator of the illegal IPTV subscription service, BestBuy IPTV.

BestBuy IPTV, which has been named in the U.S. Trade Representative’s Notorious Markets List for the past five years, unlawfully provided pirated sports, films and TV series to consumers in Vietnam and around the world. Nam, who ran the service out of Hanoi, pleaded guilty and has been sentenced to 30 months in jail (suspended) and was ordered to pay the equivalent of $4,000 USD. A total of more than $24,000 USD in illegal profit was confiscated and allocated to public funding. Nam has also paid $12,000 USD in restitution as stated in the indictment.

“The defendant has violated the provisions of the law which protect the copyright and related rights of the Motion Picture Association’s members and the English Premier League,” said Judge Le Hai Yen of the Hanoi People’s Court. “[Such crimes are] a danger to society and needed to be strictly enforced and prosecuted. [The case should] serve as a deterrent to others.”

This represents an important milestone in the fight against online piracy in the country and sets a precedent for future legal actions.

This landmark case is a significant step forward in combating online piracy in Vietnam. It underscores the seriousness of the offense and sends a clear message that piracy will not be tolerated. It also demonstrates the importance of collaboration between the private and public sector to stamp out online copyright infringement.

“This result should serve as a stark warning to anyone involved in the illegal supply of Premier League streams in Vietnam. It is the result of a strong partnership between the Vietnamese authorities and local law enforcement, ACE and the Premier League,” said Premier League General Counsel Kevin Plumb. “The criminal conviction sets a significant precedent for future initiatives aimed at protecting intellectual property rights in Vietnam and beyond. We will continue to work with our local broadcast partner K+ to educate fans of the dangers of streaming Premier League football through pirate services and to remind them that the safest way to watch matches in the best quality is through our official licensee.”

“We applaud the Vietnamese government and local law enforcement for their action in the case, demonstrating the power of a joint global effort to confront and prosecute the operators of content piracy services,” said Karyn Temple, Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel for the Motion Picture Association (MPA). “IPTV and illegal streaming services continue to have a detrimental effect upon the Vietnamese film and television industry and on those around the world who earn a living working behind and in front of the camera. We eagerly await similar action from Vietnamese law enforcement on other longstanding priority targets engaged in digital piracy on a global scale.” 

ACE and the Premier League will continue working closely with local, regional and global law enforcement agencies and authorities to safeguard the integrity of entertainment content and sports, ensuring fans can access content through authorized channels.

About The Premier League

The Premier League produces some of the most competitive and compelling football in the world. The League and its clubs use the power and popularity of the competition to inspire fans, communities and partners in the UK and across the world. The Premier League brings people together from all backgrounds. It is a competition for everyone, everywhere and is available to watch in 900 million homes in 189 countries.

Premier League anti-piracy action in Vietnam and the region

  • The Premier League, in close collaboration with its broadcast partners and authorities, actively combats piracy through a multifaceted approach. These efforts involve blocking unauthorised websites and apps, cooperating with law enforcement to pursue legal actions against providers of illegal streaming services and conducting extensive education campaigns to raise awareness about enjoying the top-quality football competition in authorised formats.
  • The Premier League and its licensee in Vietnam, K+, have worked together to block over 2,500 domains across websites in Vietnam and almost 18,000 pirate service listings have been removed from online auction sites aimed at fans across the region.
  • The Premier League conducts substantial legal efforts both globally and regionally. For example:
    • Mobdro, a large illegal streaming platform, shut down in March 2021 after a joint investigation and referral by the Premier League and ACE, leading to law enforcement action by Spanish authorities and Europol. Mobdro offered unauthorized access to live TV and video content worldwide, including sports, on various devices. It enjoyed widespread popularity across the Asia-Pacific region.
    • In September 2021, Singapore passed a law banning pirate set-top boxes, leading to a crackdown in October 2022 by the Singapore Police Force with support from the Premier League. This operation resulted in over 2,500 illegal devices being seized and 17 arrests. Legal proceedings against the accused are ongoing.
    • In March 2024, the Premier League obtained a court order in Singapore requiring Internet Service Providers to block 25 websites streaming pirated Premier League matches. This order introduced a refined method for blocking, making it harder for pirate operators to evade detection and circumvent blocks, thereby strengthening efforts against online piracy.

About The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment 

The Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) is the world’s leading coalition dedicated to protecting the legal creative market and reducing digital piracy. Driven by a comprehensive approach to addressing piracy through criminal referrals, civil litigation, and cease-and-desist operations, ACE has achieved many successful global enforcement actions against illegal streaming services and unauthorized content sources and their operators. Drawing upon the collective expertise and resources of more than 50 media and entertainment companies around the world—including sports channels and associations—and reinforced by the Motion Picture Association’s content protection operations, ACE protects the creativity and innovation that drives the global growth of core copyright and entertainment industries. The current governing board members for ACE are Amazon, Apple TV+, Netflix, Paramount Global, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Studios, and Warner Bros. Discovery. Charles Rivkin is Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association and Chairman of ACE. For more information, visit www.alliance4creativity.com.

 

Source : Premier League and ACE Commend Vietnam Authorities for Landmark Conviction in Online Piracy Case

The information provided in this article was created by Cision PR Newswire, our news partner. The author's opinions and the content shared on this page are their own and may not necessarily represent the perspectives of Siam News Network.

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