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Sky’s piracy crackdown results in hefty fine for “fully loaded” Fire Stick seller

A British man has been slapped with a hefty fine after being caught selling “fully loaded” Fire TV Sticks online.

30-year-old Ryan Jackson from Gaufron in Wales pleaded guilty to three charges of providing or selling devices adapted to circumvent technological measures and one charge of breach of copyright with the intention of financial gain at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates’ Court in January, the BBC reports (via TorrentFreak).

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He’d been advertising piracy-configured Amazon Fire TV sticks and other media players on Facebook, and selling them for around £100 a pop. Jackson was also selling subscription access to unlicensed IPTV services.

So called “fully loaded” boxes are usually cheap media players, such as Amazon Fire TV Sticks, that have been pre-loaded with Kodi and a selection of pirate addons. They’ve proven extremely troublesome for broadcasters, studios and the government, largely because they’re cheap, readily available and very easy to use.

However, since the process of tracking down and installing specific addons isn’t completely straightforward, there’s heavy demand for cheap media players that have already been pre-loaded with reliable piracy-configured addons.

Major online platforms including Amazon, Facebook and eBay banned the sale of fully loaded boxes on their websites in 2017, though investigations have found that they’re still quite easy to track down all all three platforms.

Jackson made between £840 and £2500 in profits from January 2016 to August 2018, but was fined £1340 plus £4070 costs and a £34 surcharge. Meaning he lost significantly more money than he gained.

“It was not an intelligent thing to do,” said the magistrate sentencing Jackson. “You are paying much more than you made.”

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He was caught after a joint investigation by Powys County Council and Sky, which reportedly suffered losses amounting to around £50,000 because of Jackson.

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