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Record jail sentence for illegal streaming in UK. Can Canada follow suit?

June 15, 2023

Toronto; June 15, 2023: Asian Television Network International Limited (ATN) (TSX-V-SAT) Canada’s largest South Asian Broadcaster and pioneer broadcaster of Cricket would like to congratulate The Premier League in the UK on their success in their battle against organised crime of digital piracy.

"The individuals behind three pirate streaming organisations, which offered illegal access to watch Premier League matches, have today been jailed for a total of 30 years and seven months", the Premier League reported in its own publication of May 31, 2023.

The same PREMIER LEAGUE REPORT states that In what is understood to be the world’s largestever prosecution of an illegal streaming network, five people were sentenced at Chesterfield Justice Centre, England, after being found guilty of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and contempt of court. Mark Gould, 36, who masterminded the operation and was one of the original co-founders, eventually pleaded guilty to all charges. Gould, who was described by the judge as the driving force of the conspiracy.

Kevin Plumb, Premier League’s General Counsel, as per the same report stated that: “Today’s sentencing is the result of a long and complex prosecution of a highly sophisticated operation. The sentences handed down, which are the longest sentences ever issued for piracy-related crimes, vindicate the efforts made to bring these individuals to justice and reflect the severity and extent of the crimes and that this prosecution was another concrete example of the clear links between piracy and wider criminality and that those who subscribe and support the piracy services were effectively supporting individuals involved in other sinister and dangerous organised crime".

The investigation and prosecution undertaken by the Premier League was supported by a number of organisations including the intellectual property protection organisation, FACT as well as stake holders like SKY and London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham and Birmingham City Council, and the Metropolitan, Lancashire, Gwent, and West Midlands police services. We were additionally assisted by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU) and the Government Agency Intelligence Network (GAIN).

ATN’s General Counsel, Shanti Shah, observed that "the British have got it just right in that digital piracy is seen and dealt with as organised global crime and racketeering and money laundering instead of or in addition of as a mere infringement of individual or corporate IP rights and further observed that The Premier League prosecutions were under The Fraud Act of 2006, a Statute which came into force in 2007 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2007 and that a Crown Prosecution Service (UK) publication, inter alia, points out that the ‘actus reus’ requirement related to ‘fraud’ is far less onerous than for ‘theft’ under the provisions of The Fraud Act 2006".

It needs to be added that the Police has announced that it plans to visit 1000 households amongst those identified as the subscribers of pirated products.

"While in recent years damage claims amounting to many Millions have been awarded by courts for infringement of IP rights, these are pyrrhic victories as very little of those millions has ever been collected.” said Dr. Shan Chandrasekar, President and CEO of ATN, and, more importantly, "The pirates continue to operate in perpetuity wearing new masks and one wonders if it is a good time to deploy criminal law process and remedies in Canada".

 

About ATN-Asian Television Network International Limited

ATN serves Canada’s diverse cultural communities with over 50 specialty television channels. The Company offers its flagship ATN-HD general interest service along with 7 other general interest channels, 3 sports Channels, 7 news Channels, 5 Bollywood movie channels and a variety of channels that include music, lifestyle, and several regional language channels that includes Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali, Urdu, Gujarati & Marathi. ATN has been a pioneer in the Production of Multicultural Television Programming in Canada. ATN has programming alliances with leading international broadcasters like Sony Entertainment Television, Viacom, India Cast, Zee Network, Doordarshan, Times Television, B4U, NDTV, Republic TV, ABP News Network, Jaya TV, ARY, FOOD FOOD Network and many more. ATN is also a pioneer broadcaster of Cricket in Canada and has exclusive broadcast rights for various International Cricket Boards. ATN has its own State Of The Art Production facilities. ATN’s content is also available on Amazon Prime in USA & UK, Bell Media’s Crave in Canada and also operates a 24X7 South Asian Radio Service on Sirius XM Radio across The United States and Canada. ATN’s high class Studio Facilities have also been used by Production Companies associated with Netflix, CBC and others.

For more information please visit www.asiantelevision.com or contact

Pramod Israni
Vice President – Marketing
Asian Television Network International Limited
330 Cochrane Drive, Markham
Ontario L3R 8E4
Tel: 905-948-8199
Email: atn@asiantelevision.com

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