Nov 242014

Television streaming service Aereo Inc filed for bankruptcy protection after a US supreme court ruled in June that the company’s business model violated copyright laws.

Aereo, in which Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp has a 23.30% stake, said in a Chapter 11 filing late on Thursday said it would sell its assets or reorganize.

The court said Aereo had infringed copyrights of broadcasters by capturing live and recorded programs through antennas and transmitting them to subscribers for $8-$12 a month.

The ruling was a victory for broadcasters such as CBS , NBC, ABC and Fox.

In a statement, the company said: “Given the uncertain regulatory and legal climate after the U.S. Supreme Court’s June reversal of a lower appellate court ruling in the company’s favor, Aereo’s CEO and Board of Directors have determined that Chapter 11 reorganization is the next logical step to ensure that the company’s core value is preserved while the company restructures. Chapter 11 will permit Aereo to maximize the value of its business and assets without the extensive cost and distraction of defending drawn out litigation in several courts.”

Nov 092013

A man who streamed English Premier League matches live across the internet has been jailed for a couple of years by the Sheffield Crown Court. The fellow, named Kevin Broughton, apparently got a little greedy as he was charging viewers up to £29.99 for a season to watch the matches online. This isn’t a bad little earner when you consider he had about 10,000 customers. This works out to a cool £299,000 a year .

The games he streamed originated from Sky and of course this is a no-no since the television company has the exclusive rights to show the matches. The Premier League found out about Broughton’s illegal activities and filed an official complaint with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) back in January of 2012.

The organization looked into the matter as did the East Midlands Police and this spelled bad news for the 30-year-old Broughton and he ended up facing various fraud-related charges. Investigators found he had been stashing the subscription money in an offshore bank account down in Belize.

FACT said criminals are running profitable and sophisticated illegal online operations and stated, “We continue to work to protect our members’ intellectual property and to ensure that they can continue to invest in exciting new ways to watch sports, films and television programs.”

Jul 172013

The Premier League has won a High Court ruling requiring the six main UK-based Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to one of the biggest illegal live football-streaming sites in the UK.

FA Premier League

The High Court ruled that First Row Sports was acting jointly with third party streaming services to distribute live coverage of Premier League matches in breach of the Premier League’s copyright.

Section 97A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 has been used previously by the music and film industries to secure protection from illegal streaming sites, such as Pirate Bay, but this is the first time that a sporting body has sought an order blocking a site that infringes its copyright.

It is also the first time that an order has been granted against a website that facilitates access to other illegal streaming sites.

A Premier League spokesman said: “We are extremely pleased that the order blocking this website has been granted and we will be enforcing it, in conjunction with the ISPs, ahead of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season.

Mr Justice Arnold also made clear that any publicans using First Row Sports to screen Premier League matches in their premises are communicating copyright works to the public, which would put them in breach of Section 20 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.

The Premier League said it would be significantly increasing its enforcement activity, ahead of new UK rights contracts for BSkyB and BT Sport.



Jun 222013

The Premier League is to request a court order forcing internet service providers to block a popular football streaming website,, which operates from Sweden, before the next season.

It is understood that none of the ISPs plan to challenge the court order.

The Premier League’s move follows a precedent set by the BPI music industry body, which has been successful in having several piracy websites blocked in the UK, most notably the Pirate Bay.

In those cases, ISPs have stood firm and insisted they would only take action if ordered to do so by the courts.

The UK’s major ISPs each received a letter from the Premier League outlining a possible court order, and were given a deadline of Friday to signal any intent to challenge the action.

The situation raises additional issues for BT, as from next season it will be a major distributor of Premier League football through its new sports TV channels.

BT has paid £246m for rights to show Premier League football, while Sky paid £760m for its portion of the coverage.

Dec 142012

A man from Reading has been convicted of a number of copyright offences in relation to the illegal streaming of football matches.

Gary Goodger, aged 24, from Ratby Close, Lower Earley, was found guilty at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday, 12 December of one count of communicating a copyrighted work to the public in the course of a business contrary to S.107(2A) of the Copyright, Design & Patents Act 1988.

His accomplice, Jack Bannister, aged 23, from Portal Grove, Burnley, Lancashire, was found guilty of transferring criminal property contrary to S.327(1)(d) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, after he was hired by Goodger to process payments from the copyright offences.

Goodger was the operator of a website called “freelivefooty” that made unauthorised broadcasts of live Barclays Premier League football matches to subscribers worldwide. Goodger took the matches illegally from foreign satellite broadcasts using a two-metre satellite dish, seven computers and nine satellite decoder boxes at his home.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) commenced an investigation on behalf of the Premier League, a FACT member, and supplied evidence to the Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit (ECU), who arrested Goodger and Bannister in November 2010.   Numerous “cease and desist” notices had been sent to the website on behalf of the Premier League but Goodger’s activities continued.

Investigations showed that Bannister had processed the money through his PayPal account.

Both men were subsequently charged on 27 June 2011 and found guilty after a six-day trial.   Both men will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on 25 January 2013.

Det Con Lisa Child, from Thames Valley Police’s Economic Crime Unit, said: “Goodger is believed to have made tens of thousands of pounds through illegally streaming football matches to subscribers to his website, although no exact figure is available due to the complexity of the investigation.

“We will now be looking to take action under the Proceeds of Crime Act to recover some of the cash he made illegally.”

Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said: “This is a groundbreaking case, proving conclusively that operating a website that rebroadcasts copyrighted works without permission is a criminal offence.  It is also clear that those running such sites are doing so for profit and running businesses off the back of others’ work.”

A Premier League spokesman added: “This case yet again shows that broadcasting Premier League copyright protected footage without authorisation can lead to a criminal conviction.

“The Premier League is based on a high-investment model, driving fan demand by providing football that people want to watch. Our clubs acquire and develop talented players, play matches in fantastic facilities, invest in other leagues and make significant contributions to good causes.

“The whole industry benefits and copyright infringement threatens that entire model. It is encouraging to see the Court recognise that with this judgment.”