SIS has praised a UK court’s decision to sentence a man to 12 months in jail after he was found to have illegally accessed its sports channels.
William Marston, who was trading as Billie the Bookmaker, admitted to selling unauthorised decoders adapted to enable access to encrypted transmissions between December 2013 and April 2016.
Marston was handed a 12-month prison spell, which is suspended for two years. He will be tagged and subject to a curfew from 8pm and 6am for a period of six months.
SIS worked with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) to carry out an investigation into the activities of Marston, who was arrested in April and pleaded guilty to thee charges under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 in July.
Marston was found to have used eBay to sell the devices, which allow users to illegally stream sports content aimed at the online and retail betting markets.
While Marston’s income from such activities is believed to have been £20,000 (€22,300/$24,500), the value of the lost subscriptions to SIS was at least £2 million.
“We welcome this conviction and hope it sends out a strong message to anyone looking to profit illegally from our channels,” SIS general counsel Kevin Smith said.
“We will continue to work closely with law enforcement and the industry to protect our intellectual property and safeguard the business interests of both our customers and rights holder partners.”
Kieron Sharp, director general of FACT, added: “Disrupting illegal sports streaming is a key priority for FACT as this criminality defrauds sports rights owners and TV broadcasters of hundreds of millions of pounds a year.
“The sentencing should serve as warning to anyone involved in intellectual property crime that FACT, working alongside our partners and the police, are committed to protecting digital content and tackling those who seek to illegally profit from it.”
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