R60 000 fine and jail time for pay-TV pirate

A Bellvile man has been sentenced to an effective two years in prison and fined R60 000 for pirating content from pay-TV company MultiChoice.

A Bellville man has been sentenced to an effective two years in prison and fined R60 000 for pirating content from pay-TV company MultiChoice, according to the National Prosecuting Authority.

The Bellville Commercial Crimes Court, on Tuesday, sentenced Jordon Mot to seven years imprisonment, of which five years were suspended, and he had to pay R60 000 into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account, said NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila.

Mot, the director of JP Limitless SA (Pty) Ltd, was convicted on seven counts of manufacturing, possessing, and advertising listed equipment. According to Mr Ntabazalila, he illegally advertised and sold listed Android TV boxes and internet protocol television (IPTV), which is the property of MultiChoice, a complainant in the case.

Mr Ntabazalila said the court had heard that on July 30, 2019, Jan Andreas, a senior piracy investigator, discovered a company that was selling Android TV boxes, IPTV subscriptions with over 3 000 channels and over 300 videos on demand.

He contacted Mot and was informed that there is a promotion on an Android TV box, including one month’s IPTV subscription for R60. On August 14 of this year, he placed an order and was provided with bank details.

“A day later after depositing the required amount, he visited the address of the accused in Bellville and was welcomed by a lady who showed him the different applications on the Android TV box,” said Mr Ntabazalila.

“He also observed a box full of Android TV boxes in the house. He took the box home to establish whether it was working. He found that updated South African channels were playing, and all SuperSport on the DStv platform were active and working on the IPTV subscription service.”

The court had heard that at no stage had IPTV been issued with such a DStv subscription and the accused had not acquired any rights to access or distribute programmes on the DStv platform.

According to Mr Ntabazalila, a trap was set and Mot was phoned to provide another Android TV box. On October 2, he met with the “client” who paid him R780 for an Android MI TV Stick that was preloaded and required no password or link to connect. Mot was arrested and police found more Android TV boxes on his premises.

“In his plea and sentencing agreement, Mot confessed that he did not acquire any right, or authority to promote, distribute, possess, offer to sell, or sell or enable access to the protected content from MultiChoice,” said Mr Ntabazalila.