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Monday, July 22, 2024

Gauteng raid sees MultiChoice shut down another piracy operation

The MultiChoice Group, in collaboration with Irdeto and South African enforcement agencies, has won another major feat and made significant strides in the fight against internet streaming piracy. 

The entertainment group with its law enforcement partners have arrested another suspect involved in the illegal sale of internet streaming pirate devices which allowed individuals to access MultiChoice content, violating several legal statutes. 

The suspect was successfully arrested on 4 June 2024 by the Serious Commercial Crime Unit of the Hawks (Gauteng Province) of the following charges:

  • Section 2 of the Cybercrime Act 19 of 2020 (unauthorized access to content)
  • Sections 44 & 45 of the RICA Act 70 of 2002 (possession and sale of an infringing device)
  • Section 27 of the Copyright Act 98 of 1978 (infringement of a rightsholder’s rights)

The suspect was granted bail of R3 000.00 (Three Thousand Rand), and the case is scheduled for a hearing on 18 June 2024 at the Kempton Park Magistrate Court.

The apprehended suspect managed several pirate customers and resellers, as well as illegally distributed live TV channels, including several DStv channels, movies, and series. The disruption caused by this raid is a significant blow to the illegal streaming industry in Africa.

“Digital piracy, far from being a fringe activity, has become a widespread practice that transcends demographics and geographies, challenging the norms of intellectual property rights. Acts of piracy, ranging from illegal streaming to black-market digital piracy, are forms of copyright infringement that undermine the efforts of content providers and the software industry. They also pose a digital threat to the commercial distribution of content,” notes Frikkie Jonker – Irdeto broadcasting cybersecurity anti-piracy director.

This huge milestone follows the successful raid and arrest of a key suspect involved in one of the most extensive pirate operations in Africa, known as Waka TV which occurred on 31 May 2024 in the Western Cape.

Ongoing Commitment to Combating Piracy

These enforcement actions in the Western Cape and Gauteng are just the beginning of a series of planned operations against illegal streaming outlets across South Africa. 

MultiChoice is committed to a concerted crackdown on internet streaming piracy, protecting the integrity of its services and ensuring consumers receive high-quality, legitimate content.

The success of these operations underscores the substantial investment by Irdeto in investigating and identifying the main suspects involved in these pirate networks. 

The professional support from the Cybercrime Unit in Western Cape and the Serious Commercial Crime Unit of the Hawks in Gauteng is what led to the successful apprehension of the main operators behind these pirate operations. 

MultiChoice is actively working with the South African Police Services as investigations continue into the thousands of individuals connected to these pirate networks. Resellers supporting these illegal operations are also under investigation. This collaborative effort aims to dismantle the entire network and bring all perpetrators to justice.

Content piracy involves the unauthorised acquisition, use, sharing or selling of copyrighted content. Put simply, piracy is stealing. If you are aware of any individuals or organisations involved in piracy, you can report them anonymously on: +27 11 289 2684 or [email protected]

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