The devices gave users access to premium content illegally.
Skinner was selling subscriptions to content for £35 per year as well as pre-loaded Openbox VX and VX2 boxes on Facebook Marketplace and was forced to pay £50,000 in damages.
“Those who infringe copyrighted content do so at their own risk. This case is another example of the heavy price people who facilitate piracy can pay,” Matthew Hibbert, Head of Litigation at Sky.
Colin Hulme, partner at Scottish commercial law firm Burness Paul commented: “Without question, subscription services and pre-loaded devices that give unauthorised access to copyrighted content are illegal. Sellers misspell brand names to avoid the safeguards that protect content from being pirated but this case proves that they can still be detected.”.
Mr Luke Skinner from Buntisland (in Fife, Scotland) had courts orders passed against him in relation to his sale of IPTV subscriptions and pre-loaded set-top boxes via Facebook Marketplace that made Sky and other premium content available illegally
Skinner was selling subscriptions to illegal content for £35 per year and pre-loaded Openbox VX and VX2 boxes, with a 24 month subscription, for £70 or £85. His advertisements on Facebook Marketplace showed pictures of Sky channels and offered access to “Sly Sports” and “Sly Movies”.
In May 2017, Facebook banned users from selling any streaming device that facilitates or encourages access to digital media. However, criminals are getting around these bans by misspelling content provider names, making them harder to detect.
An interdict (the Scottish equivalent of an injunction) was issued by the Court of Session, Edinburgh which prevents Skinner from selling or advertising illegal streaming devices and subscriptions. Skinner is also required to pay £50,000 in damages.