The UK football’s Premier League has millions of fans both inside and outside of the UK, all wanting to watch the football matches each season. However, some have gone beyond the law to watch it, which is now a lesson to be had.
Steven King was mastermind of the illegal streaming operation, whereby he supplied illegal streaming devices containing a pirate streaming system called “Dreambox”, which provided consumers with unlawful access to watch the Premier League football games. The devices ended up in many pubs, clubs and homes in England and Wales. Alongside King, were Paul Rolston and Daniel Malone who helped him run the operation, and it is believed they earned around £5 million through the scheme.
King was arrested and jailed for his involvement in Dreambox for 7 years and 4 months in March 2019. He returned to Warwick Crown Court this week and was ordered to forfeit the proceeds of his criminal piracy of £963,000, which was made from the operation in just three months. Further, King was ordered to surrender his passport within 28 days and cannot travel abroad until the sum has been paid. Consequently, if he does not comply with the payment, he will have his sentence extended by 6 years and 8 month. Meanwhile, Rolston was sentenced to 6 years and 4 months, and Malone got 3 years and 3 months imprisonment, which makes a grand total of 17 years in prison.
Kevin Plumb, general counsel for the Premier League said “they are pleased the courts have recognised the seriousness of piracy-related crimes, and that supplying illegal streams is a criminal offence which leads to imprisonment and significant financial penalties”. The Premier League have requested the money recovered to go back to public bodies.
These prison sentences are believed to be some of the longest issued for piracy-related activities, which shows great recognition and development of the seriousness for illegal streaming crimes.
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