Consumers Can Lose Big From Digital Piracy

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 7 (Bernama) -- The Communications and Multimedia Consumer Forum of Malaysia (CFM) has urged consumers to be more vigilant against the dangers of digital piracy that can affect them.

Consumers get involved in digital piracy once they sign up to subscriptions that are provided by unlicensed service providers. These subscriptions are either in the form of illegal streaming services or unlicensed satellite television services, it said in a statement Thursday.

Consumers are strongly advised not to be on the wrong side of the law by subscribing to unauthorised services, although accessing illegal digital content may be convenient, cheap, or even free.

According to local news reports in April this year, police have detained several people believed to be members of a syndicate offering illegal satellite television services. The syndicate had been operating since 2015, involving over 30,000 customers nationwide.

Consumers must be equipped with the right information as to avoid being defrauded into subscribing to these unregulated services, it added.

It is important to understand that if the syndicates offer lucrative deals that sound too good to be true, there might be a catch to it and almost always, their customers will be at the losing end.

Digital piracy does not just harm media and content creation companies, but it could potentially harm the consumers as well. Should problems arise from the subscription to unlicensed content services, consumers will not be able to seek redress from relevant authorities even by lodging complaints as these services are not legally registered.

Consumers also risk losing their money without warning when the illegal services are taken down by the authorities.

Besides that, these illegitimate satellite TV and streaming services provide unfiltered content with no censorship and children, especially will be exposed to unsuitable and undesirable content.

It also added that buying uncertified content devices also poses its own threat, since these equipment are not certified for safety and without proper certification, they have a higher risk of malfunctioning and can cause damage to your other equipment.

Consumers also risk malware infection when they attach the set-top boxes with their dodgy apps to home networks. This could result in personal data theft and other cybercrime threats.

CFM offers an alternative to combat piracy, suggesting consumers to subscribe to legal content services such as HyppTV, iflix, Tonton and many more.

By subscribing to licensed services and buying only certified devices, consumers can be assured of good quality service where they can seek redress should anything goes wrong with their subscription. CFM can be contacted at 1-800-18-2222 or aduan@cfm.org.my.

--BERNAMA