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4 Illegal Streamers Arrested in the UK as the Problem of Online Piracy Continues

Krishi Chowdhary Journalist Author expertise
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  • Online piracy is undoubtedly one of the most common cybercrimes of the last couple of decades. But lately, it’s becoming a much bigger problem, forcing the UK authorities to turn their attention to it.
  • As a result, four people have been arrested within just a month, out of which one has already received a sentence of 4 years and 9 months in prison.
  • Kieron Sharp, CEO of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), said that these arrests are a warning and there will be severe consequences for piracy.

4 Illegal Streamers Arrested in the UK as Online Piracy Continues

UK authorities have now turned their attention to the growing problem of online piracy. As a result, several investigations have been conducted that led to 4 arrests in the month of June itself.

Arrest #1

One of the latest arrests happened in Nottingham when a 42-year-old man was taken into custody for allegedly providing illegal streams of Sky television content.

Arrest #2

Last week, a 40-year-old man by the name of Michael Hornung was arrested from Greater Manchester and sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for the promotion and sale of special set-top boxes that gave viewers access to pirated streaming content.

Arrest #3

Another 52-year-old man was put under arrest in Stockton-on-Tees. He was allegedly involved in a separate illegal streaming operation, which was first investigated by the North East Regional Organised Crime Unit.

Arrest #4

Similarly, earlier this month, a 41-year-old man from Liverpool was given a two-year suspended sentence by the Merseyside Police Cyber Crime Unit after he pleaded guilty to charges of promoting and selling illegally modified Amazon Fire Sticks.

This basically means that users got access to premium movies, TV content, and even live football matches while Amazon didn’t receive a dime from them.

“These cases highlight the importance of protecting legitimate providers, as well as the significant impact that coordinated law enforcement efforts can have on combating digital piracy.” – Kieron Sharp, CEO of the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT)

He said that they want to put out a message with these arrests that there will be consequences for piracy. If anyone is involved in the sale or distribution of content that they don’t own or isn’t licensed to them, they could face investigation and even conviction.

Why the Sudden Attention on Online Piracy?

Online piracy has never not been a threat. However, due to financial hardships, increasing subscription fees, and technological advancement, it’s becoming a bigger problem of late.

Reports revealed that in 2023 alone, video piracy sites have been visited 141 billion times, which is a 12% increase from 2019.

Although it might make life easier for some people, it’s not fair to the original creators and owners of the content.

Every year, approximately $75 billion is lost in revenue for media companies. While big corporations might be able to take this blow, small-time producers suffer the most.

Not just that, lost revenue also leads to fewer job opportunities in the field. In short, almost everyone involved in the entertainment industry will suffer if online piracy continues to grow at this pace.

Streaming platforms like Netflix and Disney have also cracked down on password sharing, in a bid to drive up subscribers and revenue. Netflix saw a small but steady 6% growth in revenue during the March 2024 quarter as compared to the December 2023 one. Disney is also close to becoming profitable, as it has cut down losses.

The UK authorities’ aggression towards piracy will help these streaming platforms win back customers and churn out profits.

The Best Way to Watch Restricted Content Legally

Let’s admit it: while piracy is a crime, people want to watch content that may be unavailable in their region. Netflix, Prime Video, and other streaming services offer different libraries in different regions, owing to broadcasting rights, government restrictions, etc.

This means that even if you do have a Netflix subscription, you won’t necessarily have access to everything the platform has to offer. The best—and completely legal—way to get around this issue is to use the best VPN services.

ExpressVPN, Surfshark, NordVPN, and the like come with tons of servers and strong unblocking capabilities, allowing you to spoof your real IP address and access geo-restricted content. By connecting to a server in a region where your desired content it available, you can make streaming services believe that you’re in that location.

It’s worth remembering that you’ll still be paying the streaming service and you won’t be pirating any content. So, you will be accessing the content you wish to watch without breaking any laws.

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Krishi Chowdhary Journalist

Krishi Chowdhary Journalist

Krishi is an eager Tech Journalist and content writer for both B2B and B2C, with a focus on making the process of purchasing software easier for businesses and enhancing their online presence and SEO.

Krishi has a special skill set in writing about technology news, creating educational content on customer relationship management (CRM) software, and recommending project management tools that can help small businesses increase their revenue.

Alongside his writing and blogging work, Krishi's other hobbies include studying the financial markets and cricket.

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