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Copyright theft

'Wave of legal warnings' delivered to dodgy box providers across seven counties

The legal warnings were issued to addresses within seven counties between 7-18 August.

LAST UPDATE | Aug 31st 2023, 12:35 PM

A “WAVE” OF legal warnings have been delivered to people across Ireland who are alleged to be involved in providing access to “dodgy boxes”.

Dodgy boxes provide illegal access to content such as Sky or Premier League matches.

The Irish Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) said a “another wave of legal warnings have been delivered in person, by post, and by email to individuals across Ireland” who are involved in providing this access. 

The cease-and-desist notices have instructed those running the services to “immediately cease all illegal streaming activity otherwise risk facing the consequences, including criminal prosecution”. 

The legal warnings were issued to addresses within seven counties between 7-18 August.

These counties were Cork, Dublin, Galway, Laois, Louth, Mayo, and Monaghan. 

FACT said these legal notices are part of a “broader targeted campaign in Ireland designed to disrupt and shut down organised and sophisticated piracy networks”. 

In a statement issued today, FACT said it is working with broadcasters and gardaí to deliver this latest action. 

It follows a wave of action across Ireland in March which resulted in a number of streaming services being taken down and legal proceedings being brought against individuals. 

Following the first wave of action in March, FACT said one of the individuals who was targeted has since expressed regret for his actions. 

FACT quoted a former dodgy box seller from the West of Ireland as saying: “I didn’t think that what I was doing was a serious offence. 

“I didn’t think that anyone ever paid attention to copyright crime, let alone investigate and track people down for it.”

“I was shocked when they knocked at my door and now regret what I’ve done. It’s caused me so much worry and I wish I’d never got involved in the first place – it isn’t worth the stress.”

 “I know there are others out there doing what I did and thinking they will never get found out – but if they can find me, they could find you.”

Meanwhile, Kieron Sharp, CEO at FACT, said: “Consumers who pay for pirate services should also know that they are often funding serious organised crime groups.

“FACT and partners remain committed to disrupting these criminal operations and protecting consumers.”

A garda spokesperson told The Journal: “The Garda National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (GNBCI) Intellectual Property Crime Unit works with industry and service providers to investigate and prevent illicit streaming.

“The illicit streaming of Internet Protocol Television is a copyright offence under Section 140 of the Copyright and related rights Act 2000.

“GNBCI have a number of live investigations with some matters currently before the courts.

“Where appropriate Money Laundering offences and the freezing of accounts are also pursued in the investigation of these complaints.”

 

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