Sydney-based subscription TV "pirate" convicted

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Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

A man convicted for making and selling illegal subscription TV decoders has been given an 18 month suspended sentence and an AU$15,000 fine.

The Downing Centre Local Courts.
(Downing Centre, Castlereagh Street image by J Bar, GNU v1.3)

Sydney man Narender Narwal has been convicted for the theft and illegal on-sale of subscription TV after appearing in the Downing Centre Local Courts, following his arrest for making and selling unauthorised decoders.

Narender Narwal's arrest and conviction stems from an Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigation that was supported by industry investigators from Foxtel and other companies.

The list of AFP charges were:

  • 1x section 135ASG of the Copyright Act 1968: making an unauthorised decoder available online, (reflecting 12 counts of making unauthorised decoders available online)

  • 1x section 135ASB of the Copyright Act 1968: sell an unauthorised decoder, (reflecting 2 counts of letting for hire an unauthorised decoder)

  • 1x section 135ASJ of the Copyright Act 1968: cause unauthorised access to an encoded broadcast

  • 1x section 135ASA of the Copyright Act 1968: make an unauthorised decoder, (reflecting 5 counts of making unauthorised decoders).

Petra Buchanan, the CEO of the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA), the industry body for subscription TV in Australia, welcomed the conviction, saying that "the sentencing clearly reinforces the fact that piracy is theft."

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