- Dec 19, 2005
Reminds me of Gears TV / Gears Reloaded [The Owner of The IPTV Service Gears TV Gets a Long Jail ...]https://cordcuttersnews.com/the-own...ets-a-long-jail-sentence-30-million-in-fines/
"Mar 8, 2023 — The owner of what was once one of the largest IPTV services, Gears Reloaded, this week learned that he will spend five and a half years in ...
"After concluding that Flawless offered streams broadcast by Sky and Virgin, among others, FACT leveraged its connections in government, law enforcement agencies, and civil authorities, calling for action to defend the Premier League’s rights.
A report to GAIN, the Government Agency Intelligence Network, led to the allocation of significant public resources. With the support of a dedicated financial investigator, a senior Trading Standards officer took over the investigation and a little over six months later, Flawless was all but finished.
Mark Gould Arrested First, Others followIn May 2018, search warrants were executed at two addresses in London. Gould was arrested at his home in Greenwich, an apartment on the river recently purchased for £600,000 – cash.
Around a month later the authorities arrested Steven Gordon and Peter Jolley, and three weeks after that Christopher Felvus was detained. William Brown and Zak Smith were arrested early August 2018 but it would be another five months before the case was submitted to the court, and another three years before today’s sentencing.
Profitable Business, But Not For AllIn total, Flawless operated for just 22 months but still managed to generate an estimated £4.6 million in revenue, £3.7 million of that in profit. As highlighted earlier, Gould is said to have made most from the operation, around £1.7 million.
William Brown made almost nothing from Flawless yet today received a sentence roughly on par with that handed to Steven Gordon, who made more than £1 million from the operation and was also held in contempt of court. In common with all of the defendants sentenced today, Brown had no previous convictions.
Warrant Issued For Arrest of Zak SmithThis curious anomaly leads us to Zak Smith, his apparent absence from court today, and a warrant for his arrest. Smith made roughly three times less than Brown, around £5,000, but was expected to receive a similar sentence today. The reasons for that are extraordinary.
The details of Smith’s involvement aren’t just interesting, they are arguably worthy of a Netflix drama series in their own right. Smith worked at anti-piracy company Friend MTS, known for working with the Premier League to ensure that pirate services are blocked by ISPs during match times.
This type of blocking is authorized by High Court injunction, the finer details of which are closely guarded secrets. Or at least that’s the usual plan. In some cases blocking programs appear suddenly ineffective, with services like Flawless operating broadly as usual, with Flawless competitors not doing anywhere near as well.
We’ll return to that story very soon and reveal how the dismantling of Flawless was interpreted as a prompt to launch more IPTV services that made even more money."