£50,000 fine for IPTV pirate

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Luke Skinner, of Buntisland in Scotland has received a court order against him having been found to be selling IPTV subscriptions and pre-loaded illicit streaming devices on Facebook Marketplace, which gave users access to premium content such as provided by Sky, illegally.

Skinner was selling subscriptions to content for £35 (€39) per year as well as pre-loaded Openbox VX and VX2 boxes on Facebook Marketplace with a 24 month subscription, for £70 or £85. His advertisements on Facebook Marketplace showed pictures of Sky channels and offered access to ‘Sly Sports’ and ‘Sly Movies’.

In May 2017, Facebook banned users from selling any streaming device that facilitates or encourages access to digital media. However, criminals are getting around these bans by misspelling content provider names, making them harder to detect.

An interdict (the Scottish equivalent of an injunction) was issued by the Court of Session, Edinburgh which prevents Skinner from selling or advertising illegal streaming devices and subscriptions. Skinner is also required to pay £50,000 in damages.

“Without question, subscription services and pre-loaded devices that give unauthorised access to copyrighted content are illegal,” asserted Colin Hulme, Partner at Scottish commercial law firm Burness Paull. “Sellers misspell brand names to avoid the safeguards that protect content from being pirated but this case proves that they can still be detected.”

“Those who infringe copyrighted content do so at their own risk,” warned Matthew Hibbert, Head of Litigation at Sky. “This case is another example of the heavy price people who facilitate piracy can pay.”


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