In association with the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary have taken what is described as an “unprecedented step” to issue individual warning notices to thousands of subscribers to a service called GE Hosting.
GE Hosting is an illegal streaming service which enables users to access on-demand content from a range of sources along with live TV with a full EPG.
The notice, believed to be one of the first of its kind to be aimed at consumers of illegal streaming services, informed users in Norfolk and Suffolk that hosting and subscribing to the services holds a maximum sentence of up to five years in prison along with a fine. Police also told the users that they will continue to monitor their behaviour.
Kieron Sharp, CEO of FACT, said: “This is a hugely significant step by Norfolk and Suffolk Constabulary and one that has our full support. It sends a really clear message to those facilitating this illegal activity and additionally to those choosing to consume content in this way – users of illegal services are accountable for their actions and they will be pursued. This will be an alarming wake-up call for people who use illegal streams. No one wants the police knocking on their door.
“The running of illegal streaming services is a serious crime and by paying for these services consumers are giving their money directly to criminals. This is not a grey area. Piracy is illegal and you run the risk of prosecution and a criminal conviction.”