UK: West Midlands police shut illegal streaming aggregator, make arrests

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An illegal streaming network, believed to have enabled access to premium content through more than 100 separate pirate TV services to as many as hundreds of thousands of users, was dismantled by West Midlands police.

“Two men aged 53 and 35 and a 40-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of copyright infringement, fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud,” according to Detective Sergeant Allan McDonald from the West Midland Polices Economic Crime Unit. “Our joint investigation is ongoing,” he said.

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The anti-piracy organization FACT collaborated with the police.  The illegal services made a large catalogue of live TV and video content from around the world, including sports, for use on smart TVs, smartphones, tablets and illicit streaming devices.

Read the FACT press release

Why it matters

This action is the latest in a series designed to tackle online piracy, which causes significant harm to creative industries and puts consumers at series risk of online fraud, identity theft, malware and exposure to extreme or explicit content.

In July of this year, FACT announced that a man was jailed for 16 months for illegally supplying and watching premium content. Mr Paul Faulkner received the sentence after pleading guilty to multiple copyright and fraud offences, including accessing pirate content for his own use, for which he received a standalone 4-month sentence.

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