They are also being probed for cartel activities by authorities in the United States, China, Japan, Taiwan and Europe.
The offences were committed over different periods that spanned a total of up to 16 years, going back to 1997.
In an unprecedented case, a group of rights owners — including telcos here — have sought a private prosecution against two companies and their directors for selling legitimate set-top boxes which give users unbridled access to copyrighted programmes.
However, in the past three to five years, new technologies have allowed pirates to circumvent the law, and the set-top boxes nowadays that use apps to stream content do not have decoders and are considered legal.
The court schedule lists Coalition Against Piracy (CAP) general manager Neil Kevin Gane as the complainant.
When contacted, an employee of An-Nahl said the company no longer has set-top boxes on its inventory, and has returned them to Synnex Trading.
On Thursday, Synnex was still selling the set-top boxes at S$219 each.
Between 20, Star Hub went after bootleg set-top box sellers who decoded the pay-TV operator’s encrypted broadcast signals and give users free access to channels.
Mr Leong noted that these cases circumvented the encryption method, and constituted a clear offence.
Customers also pay S a year as server maintenance fees, and a one-time S charge for on-demand content or television shows.
Intellectual property (IP) lawyers whom TODAY spoke to noted that it is not unusual for IP cases to proceed under private prosecution.
The latest action against the two companies are different, he reiterated.
Lawyer Bryan Tan of Pinsent Masons added that the case would be the “first of its kind”, and it would be interesting to see “what kind of decision the court arrives at”.
SCC and Nichicon were fined the highest amounts at about S.9 million each, followed by Rubycon at S.7 million, and ELNA at S3,227.