Friday 20 October 2023

The number of Scottish addresses caught operating as an illegal IPTV service provider has now been revealed.

It comes as industry partners FACT and Sky have teamed up with the support of regional police services to target criminals across the UK.

The illegal services have been known to be sometimes accessed through Fire Sticks and are a direct violation of copyright laws.

Now that organisations are cracking down on this, investigations have revealed just one address in Scotland that was found to be operating as an illegal IPTV service provider.

The address had been offering unauthorised access to premium TV and movies including from Sky.   The operator was then issued ‘cease-and-desist’ notices instructing those running the services to immediately stop their illegal streaming activity otherwise risk facing criminal prosecution.

Other addresses across the UK were also targeted, from London, Dorset, Cambridgeshire, West Midlands, North Midlands, Greater Manchester, Yorkshire. Over a three-week period, FACT and Sky delivered 47 legal notices. This has led to the majority of the illegal services being taken down, and advertising removed.

The use of cease-and-desist measures has proven to be a highly effective means of disruption.

Kieron Sharp, CEO at FACT commented: “Illegal IPTV service providers are breaking the law and putting consumers at real risk of malware, data compromise, and identity theft. Consumers who pay for pirate services should also know that they are often funding serious organised crime groups".

"FACT and Sky remain committed to disrupting these criminal operations and protecting consumers from the many dangers of illegal streaming”.

Matt Hibbert, Director of Anti-Piracy UK and ROI, at Sky said, “We understand the power of working with our partners to tackle the issue of illegal streaming, and we’re grateful to FACT and law enforcement for their support. “At Sky we are passionate about protecting our content while ensuring consumers can enjoy the content they love, free from risks that illegal streams can pose”.

A new consumer campaign, has also launched across the UK and Ireland. The campaign was formed in partnership with key bodies across the sports, film, and TV industry and is designed to help viewers understand the personal risks of streaming illegally and identify safer options to enjoy their favourite content.

Streaming via illegal methods puts consumers at risk of being exposed to malware, fraud and data theft, with one in three consumers in the UK (32%) admitting that they, or someone they know, have been a victim of fraud, scams and identity theft as a result of illegal streaming*.

FACT work with Crimestoppers to make it easy to report illegal content online. Crimestoppers is an independent charity that allows anyone to report anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or filling out an online form.

Article from Glasgow Times