South African Police, FPB, and Icasa raid pirates — one arrested

The Film and Publication Board, telecommunications and broadcasting regulator Icasa, and the South African Police Service raided and arrested a pirate DVD and CD seller in Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth).

In a statement, the Film and Publications Board (FPB) said 1,537 illegally distributed and unclassified DVDs and CDs were found, valued at R231,100.

“One suspect was arrested on account of distributing materials without registering with the FPB and distributing unclassified materials, some of which are extremely harmful to the children as defined in the Act,” it said.

It is interesting to see the FPB and Icasa pick up the anti-piracy baton after the collapse of the Southern African Federation Against Copyright Theft (Safact).

Safact was shut down in 2018 after companies that were members withdrew their funding.

Member companies included Ster-Kinekor, MultiChoice, Disney Africa, and United International Pictures.

Companies withdrew their funding amid serious allegations of misconduct.

One senior executive was accused of sexual harassment and resigned with immediate effect rather than face a disciplinary hearing.

Sources also told MyBroadband that a large sum of money was unaccounted for.

However, none of Safact’s directors or member companies would confirm that money had gone missing.

The missing money was one in a series of accusations Safact staff made regarding mismanagement and administrative failures at the anti-piracy organisation.

This included allegations of not following proper procedure when seizing counterfeit goods, to more minor issues such as not keeping the company’s records at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission properly updated.

Now read: South Africa’s Internet censorship rules for all online content — including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Twitter

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South African Police, FPB, and Icasa raid pirates — one arrested