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In a recent clampdown against illicit streaming services, legal warnings have been dispatched across Ireland, targeting individuals involved in providing illegal access to premium TV content. Counties Mayo, Monaghan, Galway, Louth, Dublin, Cork, and Laois were all included in the latest wave of cease-and-desist notices between 7th and 18th August.
A United Front against Piracy
These legal notices are part of a broader campaign in Ireland aimed at disrupting and dismantling organised piracy networks. FACT, one of the world’s leading intellectual property protection organisations, is working in collaboration with broadcasters and law enforcement agencies to curb this growing problem.
Kieron Sharp, CEO at FACT, said:
“Illegal IPTV service providers are not just breaking the law; they are putting consumers at severe risk of malware, data loss, and identity theft.”
This latest round of legal warnings follows an initial wave in March, during which several illegal streaming services were shut down, and legal proceedings were instigated against certain individuals. One such individual, a former IPTV seller voiced his regret, stating, “I didn’t think that anyone ever paid attention to copyright crime. It’s caused me so much worry and stress.”
Sharp further warned that consumers who pay for such pirated services are often indirectly supporting organised crime groups. He emphasised that FACT and its partners remain committed to protecting consumers by disrupting these criminal operations.
Ripples in the Illegal Streaming Pond
The cease-and-desist notices have already had an impact, causing targeted individuals to dismantle their illegal operations. This comes on the heels of a landmark legal case in May in the UK, where five men were collectively sentenced to over 30 years in prison for running illegal streaming services. The ringleader, Mark Gould, received an 11-year sentence, which stands as a significant custodial punishment for fraud, money-laundering, and contempt of court.
In a bid to further combat piracy, the Premier League has been granted a new, enhanced blocking order in Ireland. Similarly, Sky has also been granted a protective order to safeguard its sports and entertainment content in the UK.
The sweeping legal actions and collaborative efforts between various organisations underline the severity and rising concern over digital piracy in Ireland and the UK. The message is clear: piracy doesn’t pay, and the risks are far greater than the rewards.