Pirate Streaming Organisation Operators Jailed For Defrauding Premier League
Three operators of a pirate streaming organisation have been jailed for a total of 17 years for conspiracy to defraud, following a four-week trial at Warwick Crown Court.
The three men, Steven King, Paul Rolston and Daniel Malone were trading under the organisation names Dreambox (unincorporated), Dreambox TV Limited, and Digital Switchover Limited, providing illegal access to Premier League football to more than 1,000 pubs, clubs, and homes throughout England and Wales.
Premier League Director of Legal Services, Kevin Plumb, said the decision and consequences reflect the seriousness of the crimes committed.
“Today’s decision has provided further evidence that the law will catch up with companies and individuals that defraud rights owners and breach copyright…
“The Premier League’s investment into cutting edge technology, combined with wide-ranging anti-piracy actions such as the one here today and the continuing landmark blocking injunction, means that it has never been more difficult for football piracy to operate in the UK,” Mr Plumb said.
The illegal organisations reportedly earned in excess of £5 million by fraudulently obtaining and supplying premium content from more than 20 broadcasters around the world.
Mr Plumb also warned fans of the dangers involved with using illegal streaming websites.
“Using these services is unlawful and fans should be aware that when they do so they enter into agreements with illegal businesses.
“They also risk being victims of fraud or identity theft by handing over personal data and financial detail,” he said.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) Director General, Kieron Sharp, said the case demonstrates that illegal streaming is a serious crime.
“This was a criminal enterprise whose only function was to make money from defrauding the Premier League and the legitimate broadcasters,” Mr Sharp said.
“For those people using services such as this, do not think that this is a grey area, it is not, it is breaking the law.
“Do not think it is a victimless crime, it is not, it puts thousands of ordinary peoples’ jobs at risk,” he said.
These sentences serve as an indication of the work the Premier League is doing with global authorities to limit the effects of illegal streaming on broadcast organisations.