Following an investigation by Cornwall Council Trading Standards into illegal television streaming services, a man admitted copyright and fraud charges at Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday 20th November 2019.
Steven Underwood (also known as Steven Isaac), previously of Killiers Court, Illogan, near Redruth faced two charges under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Fraud Act 2006 after officers found that he had sold around £400,000 worth of illegal streaming subscriptions that enabled users to view pay-TV without the permission of, and without making any appropriate payment to, the relevant broadcasters and content owners.
The Court heard that Underwood’s activity was initially detected by copyright protection agency, FACT and that the trail eventually led to an address in Cornwall. On Wednesday 16 January 2019, officers from the Police Regional Organised Crime Unit, FACT and Cornwall Council Trading Standards executed an Entry Warrant at Underwood’s home. A number of devices including an iPhone, tower computer and laptop computer were seized. These were forensically examined and compelling evidence of Underwood’s unlawful activity was recovered.
Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, said:
“We are constantly working to remove sellers of illegal streaming subscriptions from the market and bring them to justice.
The message is clear – if you are tempted to sell access to content that is not licensed or owned by you, you risk facing a criminal conviction.
We encourage consumers to use legitimate services that are safe to use and ensure that content creators are properly remunerated.”
Underwood will be sentenced at Truro Crown Court on 19th December 2019.