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A man based in the UK has been ordered to pay a total of £250,000 ($303,000) for illegally selling internet protocol (IP) TV boxes to pubs and clubs.
Malcolm Mayes from Hartlepool, County Durham received a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for one year, on Monday, March 6 at Teeside Crown Court.
He was also ordered to pay costs of £170,000 and a Proceeds of Crime Order was made against him for a further £80,000.
According to a release from the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), Mayes admitted breaching the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988 by advertising and selling adapted IPTV boxes.
IPTV boxes allow users to watch television and stream films on the internet.
The boxes are not illegal, but when they are modified, they can be used to freely view content which should be paid for.
Mayes sold IPTV boxes for around £1,000 each to pubs and clubs around the country.
According to FACT, he targeted these establishments through placing adverts in a national magazine and claimed his devices were “100% legal”.
Kieron Sharp, director general of FACT, said: “Today’s sentencing sends out a strong message to anyone involved in the sale of illegal IPTV boxes that crime certainly does not pay.”
Lord Toby Harris, chair of National Trading Standards, added: “Mr Mayes knowingly sold these illegal boxes which breached copyright law, misleading small businesses by falsely claiming that these devices were legal. I hope this conviction sends a clear message that criminal activity doesn’t pay.”
Federation Against Copyright Theft, FACT, Malcolm Mayes, internet protocol TV boxes, copyright, online copyright, Lord Toby Harris, Kieron Sharp,