SIS welcomes theft conviction from FACT investigation

By Dhanum Nursigadoo
William Marston, a Norfolk man trading as ‘Billie the Bookmaker’ has been sentenced to 12 months in jail for the sale of unauthorised decoders adapted to illegally access SIS encrypted sports channels between December 2013 and April 2016.

Marston’s income from the illegal activity is believed to be £20,000. The value lost by SIS was at least £2 million.

The sentence, suspended for two years, rejected Marston’s claim that he made negligible profit. Marston will be tagged and under an 8pm to 6am curfew for six months.

SIS worked with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) in an investigation into Marston’s activities, he was arrested in April and pleaded guilty to the charges under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 in July.

Marston used eBay to sell the devices that allowed users to illegally stream sports content aimed at the online and retail betting markets.

SIS General Counsel Kevin Smith says: “We welcome this conviction and hope it sends out a strong message to anyone looking to profit illegally from our channels.

“We will continue to work closely with law enforcement and the industry to protect our intellectual property and safeguard the business interests of both our customers and rights holder partners.”

Kieron Sharp, Director General of FACT, comments: “Disrupting illegal sports streaming is a key priority for FACT as this criminality defrauds sports rights owners and TV broadcasters of hundreds of millions of pounds a year.

“The sentencing should serve as warning to anyone involved in intellectual property crime that FACT, working alongside our partners and the police, are committed to protecting digital content and tackling those who seek to illegally profit from it.”

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