Retailer of illegal streaming boxes sentenced

A retailer who sold devices that could access illegal content from BeoutQ has been sentenced.

Mr Ammar Al-Silawi was found guilty on two charges of copyright and two charges of fraud, having been found to sell Illegal Streaming Devices which provided unlawful access to a number of channels, including those from Saudi pirate service beoutQ and live Premier League matches, from a shop on Edgware Road, London.

At the sentencing on Thursday at the City of London Magistrates Court, Mr. Al-Silawi received the maximum 300 hours of unpaid community service and was ordered to pay legal costs to the Premier League. The defendant was also warned that failure to comply with the community order in any way would result in an immediate custodial sentence.

The Premier League prosecuted the case following an investigation conducted in conjunction with FACT - the copyright and intellectual property organisation, with the assistance of the Metropolitan Police.

This is the first case of its kind, with the Premier League successfully arguing that in selling the set top boxes, Mr. Al-Silawi was guilty of the offence of communicating infringing copies of copyright works to the public.

Kieron Sharp, FACT Chief Executive added:
We are working with our members, including the Premier League, to remove sellers of illegal devices from the market and bring them to justice and we have had considerable success. The message is now unequivocal; if you sell a device that provides access to content that is not licensed or owned by you, you will face a criminal conviction. Illicit retailers should be aware of the Court’s view that ignoring a cease and desist notice was a clear aggravating factor in this case.

Back in 2016, the first legal case brought against a supplier of illegal streaming devices resulted in a four year jail sentence for the perpetrator. This latest case sets a further legal precedent in another part of the supply chain.

During 2019, sports rights holders and broadcasters have been stepping up action against BeoutQ and anyone who provides access to the service: the pirate IPTV service frequently carries live sport lifted from other channels for which it does not hold the rights to.

[FACT press release 4/10/2019]