Fire Stick Sellers Targeted in Enforcement Against Illegal IPTV Providers Across Ireland

FACT has launched a third wave of action across Ireland targeting those selling illegal access to premium TV content. The latest round of action focuses on those selling modified or ‘fully loaded’ smart TV devices, such as Amazon Fire Sticks.

FACT and its partners issued a total of 22 legal warnings as part of the operation, with ‘cease and desist’ notices being delivered in person, by post and by email. The cease-and-desist notices instruct those selling the modified Fire Sticks to immediately stop all illegal streaming activity; otherwise, they risk facing the consequences, including criminal prosecution.

Addresses across Dublin, Cork, Meath, West Meath, Kilkenny, Clare, Limerick, Louth, Galway and Monaghan have been targeted between 22nd January and 2nd February.

The action is already having an impact, with the vast majority of illegal streaming services being shut down. Further action will be taken against those who fail to comply.

Eddy Leviten, Chief Operating Officer at FACT, commented:

“By taking these measures, we are sending a clear message: piracy is a crime, and it is taken seriously. FACT will continue to monitor channels used to advertise and sell illegal streams, modified Fire Sticks, and other devices to take action against illegal IPTV suppliers and operators.

“Operators of illegal IPTV services should be aware that not only are they committing an offence themselves, but they’re also putting consumers at real risk of malware, data loss and identity theft.

“FACT and its partners are determined to disrupt these criminal operations, and non-compliance with the notices could lead to further law enforcement action”.

This is the third enforcement operation to sweep Ireland. The first two took place in March and August 2023 and are part of an ongoing commitment to eliminate illegal streaming in the country and protect consumers from the risks posed by illegal streaming services.

In recent data commissioned by the BeStreamWise initiative, which aims to raise awareness of those risks, one in three people in Ireland who illegally stream say they, or someone they know, have been a victim of fraud, scams, or identity theft as a result.*

Since the enforcement operation began last year, more than 60 targets have been engaged, resulting in the vast majority of illegal services being taken down, impacting tens of thousands who would have watched the streams. Significant financial settlements have been reached, with those identified as having stolen revenue from rightsholders. The outstanding few who have not engaged with the process are currently being pursued through the courts.

In September last year, two men were sentenced at Belfast Crown Court for the illegal sale of devices used for the provision of pirated TV channels and the supply of streaming services (IPTV). Padraig McVicker was sentenced to eight months in prison, and Gary Doherty was given 175 hours of community service.