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Expert issues serious warning to anyone with 'dodgy' fire stick over potential to 'lose house' if caught

Expert issues serious warning to anyone with 'dodgy' fire stick over potential to 'lose house' if caught

Those who illegally stream their sports coverage have been issued with a stern warning

Those who tune into their favourite sport using a 'dodgy' fire stick have been warned they could 'lose their homes'.

Illegal streaming, whether that's by IPTV (Internet Protocol television) or a modified media device like a jailbroken Amazon Fire TV Stick, is an act carried out by millions every day.

Many people on social media claim to offer fire stick log in details with 'unlimited live channels' for as little as £40 a year.

If you were to go through official channels, you would be spending around £100 a month for Sky Sports and TNT Sports alone, with the illegal act costing the likes of Netflix, Prime Video and Sky Sports billions in lost revenue every year.

But one expert has issued a stern warning to those who think they can get around it...

What can happen if you stream illegally?

Well, you can land yourself in an awful lot of trouble.

Authorities are upping their fight back against those who carry out this act, including being questioned by police

While it is not against the law to own one of these modified Fire Sticks, streaming the likes of Sky Sports without a subscription is a big no-go.

Illegally streaming using a Fire Stick could mount you into a lot of trouble.
Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Speaking to the MailOnline, intellectual property lawyer Samuel O'Toole said: "This is not a 'victimless crime'. From an intellectual property is all about copyright.

"If someone is using a 'jailbroken' fire stick, they are infringing copyright by viewing content without paying the appropriate licence fee.

"Copyrighted material is personal property. It was created and owned by someone and cannot be used without their permission."

What is the worst punishment users could face?

O'Toole describes a 'significant penalty' as a 10-year prison sentence, though he notes any particular case would have to reach a criminal court.

"That would be for criminal gangs, the bigger fish and not someone streaming at home," the expert added.

He continued: "Although, the copyright holder could take a home streamer to the Intellectual Property and Enterprise Court. There you could pay £60,000 in costs and if you lose you will pay the other side's costs and compensation as well.

"Companies will see if the infringer has money and assets before taking such a case. Pubs and other businesses illegally streaming content can be at risk of this.

"Pubs and clubs illegally streaming live sports events are at risk of this as the copyright holder will be able to secure a judgement against them for a sum of cash."

Some have been arrested for streaming illegally.
Getty Stock Photo

According to the IP guru, this could put someone's home at risk in worst case scenarios.

"If Sky or another copyright holder sued and secured a judgement for £100,000, they could then seek an order against property or other assets, so it is possible you could lose your house," he explained.

So, you've been warned!

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Images/Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Topics: Sport, TV and Film