You have to really love boxing to end up spending £5000 to watch the Anthony Joshua vs Wladimir Klitschko bout like one Sky customer did.
Not that Craig Foster, the customer in question, intended to shell out such a sum, but he was caught illegitimately streaming the boxing match online via Facebook Live where it was viewed by around 4,250 people, according to the Independent.
Sky then traced the stream back to Foster and shut off his subscription. The Foster was contacted by Foot Anstey LLP, a law firm representing Sky, informing him that if he was taken to court over the illegal streaming he’d face a fine of £85,000.
Foster agreed to pay £5000 in legal costs to Sky, reported the Mirror, though he claimed he was not to blame.
Foster said that he’d paid £19.95 to watch the boxing match live with some friends over for a couple of drinks. He claims one of those friends used his iPad, which was logged into Foster’s Facebook account, to film and stream the match to Facebook Live.
In response, Foster noted that Sky’s lawyers want his friends names and details, though he’s not willing to give them up.
“I’d paid for the boxing, it wasn’t like I was making any money,” he said, reports the Mirror. “My iPad was signed in to my Facebook account and my friend just started streaming the fight.
“I didn’t think anything of it, then a few days later they cut my subscription.
“They’re demanding the names and addresses of all my mates who were round that night but I’m not going to give them up. I said I’d take the rap.”
While Foster acknowledges that the streaming was wrong, he said he didn’t stop it as he was drunk and caught up in watching the match with his friends and having a few drinks, though he reckons Sky is attempting to make an example out of him to curtail future illegal streaming.
After reportedly only being given 24 hours to respond to Sky’s demands, Foster said he’s panicked and paid the £5000 demand, but now plans to fight it in court.
The rise of Netflix, iTunes, Spotify and other easy to access way to get hold of music, movies, entertainment and sport has gone someway to reduce the amount of online piracy that’s a real thorn in the side for the likes of Sky.
But it would appear that when illegitimate streaming and copyright infringement is caught out that Sky and others are not willing to let it slide easily; the UK government has even upped the maximum jail term for copyright infringement up to 10 years.
We’d suggest erring on the side of caution and making use of the myriad of legal and affordable streaming services available across a range of devices.
Sign up for the newsletter
Get news, competitions and special offers direct to your inbox
Related: How to watch Netflix offline
Should Sky have take such a heavy-handed approach to punishing the illegal streaming? Have your say on Facebook or Twitter.