Premier League season opens with 16 cease-and-desist letters


Rory O'Neill

Premier League season opens with 16 cease-and-desist letters

charnsitr /

The Premier League and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) have served cease-and-desist notices to 16 premises across the UK suspected of distributing pirate football streams.

A FACT press release did not specify the nature of the premises in question, but said the suspects “were found to be promoting unauthorised access to premium television content”.

It admitted, however, that each of the targets was “operating at a relatively low level”. FACT said that further actions “of a similar nature” were planned.

Kieron Sharp, FACT chief executive, said that “if you are involved in any way in providing illegal streaming services, on any scale, you are not invisible or immune from action from FACT, rights owners and law enforcement”.

“We have a programme of continuous activity targeting different elements of the global piracy landscape, with consideration given to the scale of the offending so that the most effective and proportionate response is deployed,” Sharp added.

Lesley Donovan, national coordinator of the UK’s Government Agency Intelligence Network, which assisted with the investigation, said that the cease-and-desist notices were intended to “highlight the real harm those trying to make a quick buck out of illegal streaming are inflicting”.

“Their actions are feeding a wider illicit industry which not only denies the economy of millions both in copyright theft and undeclared income but poses a direct risk to our communities due to their lack of parental controls and fire safety,” Donovan said.

The Premier League has shown no signs of letting up in its efforts to clamp down on piracy as the 2018/19 season gets underway.

Last month, the league renewed its so-called ‘super-blocking’ injunction at the UK High Court which requires internet service providers (ISPs) to block illegal streams on request.

The league has also obtained a similar injunction from the Irish Commercial Court. That order marks the first time an Irish court has ordered ISPs to block illegal streaming of English football matches.

Premier League, Federation Against Copyright Theft, FACT, Kieron Sharp, streaming, injunction, cease-and-desist, piracy, football

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