A 27-year-old Manchester man was arrested this morning by the Police
Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) on suspicion of
running illegal sports streaming websites.
The man is believed to be operating a series of sites, all of
which allow unlawful free access to pay TV services. It is
estimated that the sites are contributing to a loss across the
subscription services of more than £10 million.
City of London Police sent its specialist intellectual property
unit to arrest the man at his home, where detectives discovered an
“industrial size streaming operation”. This consisted of 12
computer servers streaming sporting events from across the world.
The equipment has been confiscated by the police and the man was
taken to a local police station for questioning. This is the unit’s
third arrest in relation to online streaming, following a recent
effort by police
to crack down on the practice.
“Not only is there a significant loss to industry with this
particular operation but it is also unfair that millions of people
work hard to be able to afford to pay for their subscription-only
TV services when others cheat the system,” said DCI Danny
Medlycott, the newly appointed Head of PIPCU.
The unit, which only launched in September last year, has been
busy recently. Only a month ago it arrested a 20-year-old man in Nottingham on suspicion of
running a proxy server providing access to other sites subject to
legal blocking orders. While it is based in within the Economic
Crime Directorate of the City of London Police, it is tasked with
protecting UK industries from intellectual properties, and as such
will continue to run operations across the country.