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A man has been found guilty by a UK court of distributing illegal streaming devices (ISDs) that allow access to pirated sports content including the Premier League on the beoutQ channel.
On Thursday, October 3 the Westminster Magistrates’ Court sentenced 39-year old Ammar Al-Silawi to 300 hours of unpaid community service and ordered him to pay the league’s legal costs.
Kevin Plumb, director of legal services at the Premier League, said, “the law is very clear that the sale of ISDs is illegal and it is an issue taken very seriously by both the police and the courts”.
Al-Silawi was convicted of two charges of copyright infringement and two charges of fraud, after having been found to have been selling so-called ‘beoutQ boxes’ out of a shop in north-west London.
The Premier League welcomed the verdict, which came after an investigation carried out in conjunction with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) and London’s Metropolitan Police.
“In addition to working collectively with other footballing bodies to combat the beoutQ service, the Premier League is committed to taking action against resellers of the pirate service such as Mr Al-Silawi,” the organisation said.
Broadcasters such as Qatar-based beIN Sports have called on the international community to do more to stop the theft of its IP by beoutQ, which it says is based in Saudi Arabia and has the tacit backing of the Saudi government.
"Addressing the issues created by the unprecedented beoutQ situation remains a key priority of the Premier League and we will work tirelessly to support beIN Sports, as well as all other broadcasters and fans who acquire our content legitimately,” Plumb said.
Kieron Sharp, chief executive at FACT, said that the organisation and its partners such as the Premier League had enjoyed “considerable success” in removing ISDs from the market.
“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,” he said.
Sharp warned retailers of such boxes to comply with cease-and-desist letters, such as those which had been sent to Al-Silawi and ignored.
“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,” Sharp said.
According to the Premier League, the court warned Al-Silawi that failure to comply with the order would result in an immediate custodial sentence.
Premier League, beoutQ, beIN Sports, Federation Against Copyright Theft, Metropolitan Police, piracy, sports, football, streaming