On Monday 23 October 2017 a judgment was obtained in the High Court against a Sky customer who had been streaming Sky Sports content illegally online.
Mr Yusuf Mohammed, of Bristol, has been ordered to pay legal costs of over £16,000, and to disclose details about the money he made and people he colluded with. As well as the costs bill, Mr Mohammed will have to pay Sky damages.
The team advising SKY was led by IP specialist and Partner Neil Parkes, he commented that "This is an important case as the successful result sends a clear message that activity of this type is illegal and there are consequences."
Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT said “This is the latest action taken in the ongoing crackdown on illegal digital piracy. 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.
In a similar case pursued by Sky represented by Foot Anstey, last week an individual admitted guilt, provided a written apology to Sky and agreed to pay substantial legal costs for sharing the Joshua vs Klitschko fight on Facebook – the stream was viewed by around 600,000 people.
On this, Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, added: “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.
Additional actions taken in the crackdown on digital piracy:
- 20 October: Brian Thompson and Julian Allen sentenced for selling illicit streaming devices pre-configured to allow illegal access to premium content. Allen was handed a 21 month suspended sentence and Thompson an 18 month suspended sentence.
The judge stated “Not only have the courts in this country ruled as such, but Europe also has ruled that such devices are illegal. Ignorance of the law is no excuse and indeed you’ve had the good sense to plead guilty. The temptation for anyone buying these things is they save a good deal of money. Those who lawfully have to pay £50 or more to Sky or BT subscriptions I think are done a disservice by people like you and those who buy these devices in an attempt to get around their obligation to pay lawfully for access to this material. As has been rightly said, it isn’t a victimless crime. It has knock-on effects. The fact that these are global companies who are the losers eventually does not mean that these are trivial offences or ones which have no consequences.”
“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.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that in all the circumstances an immediate custodial sentence is not called for. But as a warning to others in future, they may not be so lucky.”
- 1 October: The Digital Economy Act 2017 came into force increasing online intellectual property crime sentencing from two to ten years, bringing it in line with offline IP crime
- 17 September: Google signed an agreement to tackle YouTube piracy, allowing rights-holders direct access to take down content on the video site
- 14 September: a new report from PIPCU (the City of London Police) and FACT called The Crackdown on Digital Piracy shows that over one million of these devices have been sold in the UK in the last two years