A man who pleaded guilty to supplying set-top-boxes which illegally provided access to premium pay-TV content has been jailed for two years, in the latest in a series of actions designed to crackdown on illegal streaming.
Paul Jaques, of West Yorkshire, sold around 2,500 of the illegal devices, with accompanying illicit subscriptions.
Between 2015 and 2019, he received more than £200,000 from the sales of the set-top boxes through his website and via online marketplace eBay, which allowed consumers to bypass legitimate subscriptions to access premium sports, film and TV content.
“The severity of the sentence handed down in this case underlines the seriousness of this crime and should act as a warning to anyone involved in online piracy – both those facilitating the activity and those watching at home,” stated Assistant Chief Constable Pete O’Doherty, national policing lead for IP Crime. “The sums involve also underline just how much harm online piracy causes to the creative economy, which supports millions of jobs in this country.”
“This is another case that shows the serious consequences faced by individuals that choose to break the law by supplying illegal content,” noted Kieron Sharp, Chief Executive of UK intellectual property protection organisation FACT.“FACT will continue to work with broadcasters and rights holders to crackdown on illegal streaming and to hold those behind it accountable for their actions. This is not a grey area and anyone involved in supplying illegal content risks a criminal conviction.”
The conviction is the latest in a series of actions designed to crack down on illegal streaming, and those profiting from it.
In June 2020, Mark Schofield was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years for selling devices that provided access to paid-for content including sport and films via his Facebook page.
This followed the conviction of Daniel Aimson, who was sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud. Aimson sold illegal devices that bypassed paid-for TV content – costing legitimate service providers more than £2million.
There have also been numerous raids up and down the country, as Police tackle the source of this illegal activity.