Football Fan Fined £16,000 For Illegally Streaming Sky Sports On His Website
As a football fan you might think it's your God-given right to be able to watch your team play, unless you're unlucky enough to support a lower-league team whose matches are rarely shown on TV anyway.
However, that proved not to be the case for one footy fan who has been ordered to pay back £16,000 ($20,961) after he illegally streamed Sky Sports channels to other fans online, via his 'well-known' website.
Yusuf Mohammed, of Bristol, was told by the High Court that he must pay back the money he made from his scheme, as well as pay damages to Sky and hand over all his customers' details.
The civil action had been launched after an investigation by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
"It should now be crystal clear to anyone thinking of pirating or watching a pirated stream that this is not a grey area and that it is illegal," said Kieron Sharp, the CEO of FACT.
"This should serve as a warning to others - whether it's a copyright infringing website, a 'fully loaded' streaming device or an illegal stream on social media, it is still piracy and breaking the law."
Mohammed was said to have made a tidy sum from running the site, as might be expected given the interest surrounding high-profile teams.
His site streamed high-profile fixtures such as Premier League and Champions League matches, along with other sports.
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This isn't the only punishment that business owners have received lately as part of the authorities' ongoing campaign against online piracy.
Last week the owner of a shop in Middlesbrough was given a suspended sentence for selling Kodi boxes as part of a crackdown on Kodi boxes.
The man, 55-year-old Brian Thompson, had initially denied the offence as he didn't think he was breaking the law. The judge, however, disagreed.
"If anyone was under any illusion as to whether such devices as these fully loaded Kodi boxes were illegal or not, they can no longer be in any such doubt," Judge Peter Armstrong told the man.
Kodi boxes are also part of the piracy crackdown. Credit: Kodi/PA
Kodi boxes are not in themselves illegal but it is against the law to sell them 'pre-loaded' with the capability to illegally access copyrighted material built in.
Since the Digital Economy Act became law back in May, using Kodi boxes illegally may land you a harsher penalty, with the potential sentence for illegally watching or sharing copyrighted material now up to ten years in prison.
So if you're looking to watch your side get slaughtered by someone you think they really should be capable of beating this weekend, it might just be safer to head down to your local.
Words: Chris Ogden
Featured Image Credit: PA
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