If you are a broadcaster, you can use conditional access technology to protect your intellectual property (IP). This is where you encrypt the transmissions so that only users who pay can access them.
Conditional access technology includes smart cards and other decoders. You sell or rent these machines to the viewers which enables them to view or listen to encrypted programmes.
It is illegal to make unauthorised copies of smart cards or other decoding equipment, as this deprives the broadcaster of revenue from people who pay for legitimate decoders.
If someone sells or uses an illegal decoder, they may be committing a criminal offence.