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Redruth man admits sale of illegal TV Streaming Services

Following an investigation by Cornwall Council Trading Standards into illegal television streaming services, a local man admitted copyright and fraud charges at Truro Magistrates Court on Wednesday 20 November 2019..

Steven Underwood (also known as Steven Isaac), previously of Killiers Court, Illogan, near Redruth, faced two charges under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 and the Fraud Act 2006 after officers found that he had sold around £400,000 worth of illegal streaming subscriptions that enabled users to view pay-TV without the permission of, and without making any appropriate payment to, the relevant broadcasters and content owners.

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The Court heard that Underwood’s activity was initially detected by copyright protection agency FACT and that the trail eventually led to an address in Cornwall. 

On Wednesday 16 January 2019 officers from the Police Regional Organised Crime Unit, FACT and Cornwall Council Trading Standards executed an Entry Warrant at Mr Underwood’s home. A number of devices including an iPhone, tower computer and laptop computer were seized. These were forensically examined and compelling evidence of unlawful activity was recovered.

Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, says: “We are constantly working to remove sellers of illegal streaming subscriptions from the market and bring them to justice.

The message is clear - if you are tempted to sell access to content that is not licensed or owned by you, you risk facing a criminal conviction.

We encourage consumers to use legitimate services that are safe to use and ensure that content creators are properly remunerated.”

Paul Masters, Cornwall Council’s Strategic Director for Neighbourhoods, adds: “Stealing intellectual property or copyright is as serious as other more tangible thefts. Our Trading Standards officers will always seek to protect Cornwall’s consumers from being duped by copyright fraud. Only buy streaming services from a trusted source, and if in doubt contact our Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133 for reassurance.”    

Steven Underwood will be sentenced at Truro Crown Court on 19 December 2019.

Story posted 22 November 2019