People running illegal streaming services at many UK addresses have been personally handed ‘cease-and-desist notices’, with the threat of prosecution if these are ignored. The clamp down was led by Sky and FACT, with support from regional police services.
In total, 47 legal notices were issued over a three-week period, leading to the majority of the illegal services being taken down, and advertising removed.
FACT is a leading UK intellectual property protection organisation protecting brands and businesses against fraud and IP crime and helping consumers to stay safe online. The stop notices instruct those running the services to immediately end their illegal streaming activity. Some addresses were visited in person, with others receiving the notice by post and email.
FACT and Sky identified several ‘operators’ who have been providing illegal access to premium TV and movies including from Sky. This action follows several recent initiatives designed to tackle illegal streaming, including the granting of a new blocking order to Sky and significant enforcement action across Ireland.
“The use of cease-and-desist measures has proven to be a highly effective means of disruption,” FACT and Sky have observed.
Kieron Sharp, CEO at FACT comments: “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".
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.”
A new consumer campaign, BeStreamWise.com 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 to identify safer options to enjoy content.