'Home raid' warning as £50k Amazon Fire TV Stick fines threatened

A general view of an Amazon Fire TV Stick
-Credit: (Image: Martyn Landi/PA Wire)

Anyone who streams TV shows and movies illegally has been issued with a £50,000 warning. Efforts have been intensified by UK authorities including the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) to combat the offence.

Illegal streaming operations have been raided by officials in a joint effort with internet service providers (ISPs). And ahead of the Euros this summer, the public is being warned not to be tempted to stream the games illegally.

Efforts to combat piracy have been ramped up since the passing of the Digital Economy Act 2017. The legislation gave UK law authorities more robust tools to aggressively pursue and prosecute those involved in digital piracy.

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Stream piracy is illegal in the UK under copyright law. If caught, those responsible can face huge fines or even imprisonment.

And individuals found distributing illegal streams - often done by adding illegal apps to Amazon Fire TV Sticks - have faced fines upwards of £50,000. Viewers of such streams can still be penalised with fines often exceeding several thousand pounds.

Alex Hemming, a sports analyst from Free Bets Ireland, said: "The risks associated with illegal streaming of sports in the UK are significant and multifaceted. The potential for hefty fines, criminal prosecution, and personal data compromise makes illegal streaming a risky endeavour.

"With more legitimate streaming options available than ever, choosing to view sports through official channels is not only the legal choice but the smarter one."

Unauthorised sites frequently host malware and other cyber threats that can compromise personal data and damage devices, users have been warned. The security risks associated with illegal streaming are thought to be substantial, often resulting in severe data theft or hardware issues for unsuspecting users.