PIPCU pulls no punches when warning about illegal streaming

• Using a device to stream or watch TV, sports or films without an official subscription is breaking the law
• Making unauthorised streams of TV, sports or films available is also illegal
• This year, Umar Shazad was ordered to pay legal costs of more than £12,000 for re-streaming Sky Sports content illegally

The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) is warning sports fans to use legitimate sources to watch the big fight on the 7th of December, as Anthony Joshua looks to avenge his defeat by Andy Ruiz Jnr.

Streaming or watching unauthorised content without the right permissions or subscriptions is no longer a ‘grey area’. It is illegal to watch a stream you know you should be paying for, whether that is through the internet or using a set top box.

Detective Chief Inspector Nick Court, head of the City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit said:

“The Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jnr fight is a huge event in the sporting calendar, but don’t let your eagerness to tune in make you commit a crime.

“Not only is it illegal, but it’s also unreliable and risky. You never know when a site is likely to be shut down. It could be at a crucial point in the fight- in fact, enforcement agencies and companies will aim to do just that in an attempt to dissuade people from using illegal sites in the future.

“By using legitimate providers these risks can easily be avoided. Watch it live, watch it legally.”

Misusing TV subscriptions has serious repercussions. For example, people found to be illegally sharing or watching unauthorised paid-for content can have their subscription account terminated immediately and can expect to be prosecuted and fined.

Earlier this year, Mr Umar Shazad was ordered to pay legal costs of more than £12,000 for re-streaming Sky Sports content illegally on Facebook Live. This followed the case of Mr Yusuf Mohammed, who was ordered to pay legal costs and damages totalling more than £16,000 for similar offences.

Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, said:

“If you are accessing the fight by avoiding the official provider, whether it’s a re-stream on social media, a piracy site, or using a device, box or stick connected to your TV, this is illegal.

“FACT is leading the way in combatting digital piracy and working with PIPCU and industry to crackdown on illegal streaming and to hold those behind them accountable for their actions.

“Watching live sport illegally is becoming harder and so boxing fans should be aware that if they were planning to watch the fight by illegal means they are breaking the law.”

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