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Five held in TV piracy crackdown

Piracy sign

BT is supporting the latest action against illegal streaming of content including Premier League matches.

In a co-ordinated day of action, police and copyright organisations raided homes in north-west England and Wales and arrested five people. They seized illegal set-top devices, pre-loaded with unlicensed add-ons and apps. This allows users to illegally stream content to their TVs, including premium pay-TV channels, live sport and films.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) instigated the day of action on behalf of the Premier League, BT Sport, Sky Sports and Virgin Media. FACT says the suspects are believed to have made around £250,000 across social media, online forums and dedicated websites. After questioning by police they were released on bail pending further enquiries.

The crackdown follows the first prosecution in England of suppliers of illegal set-top boxes. Last December, Terry O’Reilly was sentenced to four years in prison, and Will O’Leary, who worked with him, was given a two-year suspended sentence.