Pay-TV operators and content providers want the government to expand legislation to target domestic and commercial end users of illegal decoders and pirated signals. The industry call highlights growing frustration with the government's decision to focus law enforcement efforts on suppliers and vendors of illegal decoders, while leaving individual users alone. Authorities also face mounting pressure to target commercial premises that subscribe to pirated pay-TV from rogue wholesalers providing content via broadcast overspills from other countries. Eddie Cheung Kwok-choi, principal assistant secretary for commerce, industry and technology, said that signal overspill was a grey area that did not fall under the Broadcasting Ordinance. 'The government does not condone this but, in this case, the end user is not circumventing the technology, nor are they avoiding any payment. They are paying the middleman,' Mr Cheung told a Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce seminar. The legislation defines pay-TV theft as to 'circumvent conditional access technologies to enable viewing of pay-TV services licensed in Hong Kong without payment of a subscription'. Mr Cheung added that premises that used illegal decoders to view pay-TV without paying were liable to a maximum of five years in jail and a $1 million fine. Noel Smyth, managing director of Delaney's Development, which operates three Irish pubs in Hong Kong, estimated about 30 bars and clubs in the Wan Chai area showed pirated pay-TV content. Mr Cheung also stressed that overseas experience had shown that the solution lay in attacking the manufacturers and suppliers of 'hacked' decoders, and not end users. From 2004 to August this year, 72 people were arrested over illegal pay-TV decoders, resulting in penalties ranging from a $1,500 fine to four months in jail. 'It is not wise to impose sanctions on end users. If pay-TV piracy becomes rampant, we will consider criminal sanctions but, right now, the move may not have public support,' Mr Cheung said.