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Man Sentenced to Prison for Selling “Fully Loaded” Firesticks

Man Sentenced to Prison for Selling Fully Loaded Firesticks

A 41-year-old man from Liverpool has received a two-year prison sentence for selling “fully loaded” Firesticks and unauthorized IPTV subscriptions.

The man, identified as Mr. O’Donnell, conducted his sales through Facebook and WhatsApp and pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court.

In recent years, the popularity of legal video and sports streaming services has surged globally. However, this rise has been paralleled by millions of people turning to unauthorized sources for streaming content, often utilizing perfectly legal streaming devices like Amazon’s Firesticks.

These devices are frequently modified to include pre-installed, unauthorized subscription services, which are available at significantly discounted rates, making them an attractive option for many users.

However, it’s very important to understand that the process of “jailbreaking” a Firestick is not illegal. As mentioned in our tutorial, the process of jailbreaking a Firestick means changing a few device settings that will allow for side-loading 3rd party applications.

Legality comes into question when individuals like Mr. O’Donnell are selling “fully loaded” devices with unverified applications that offer copyrighted content.

Example of a "Fully Loaded" Firestick Ad
Example of a “Fully Loaded” Firestick Ad

The demand for these unauthorized services has given rise to a new industry, with a few major players at the top making substantial profits.

Beneath them, a variety of subscription resellers operate their own ‘shops,’ earning a cut by selling these illicit services. Mr. O’Donnell fits into this category of resellers.

Firestick Seller Sentenced in Court

Mr. O’Donnell, from the North West of England, was sentenced today at Liverpool Crown Court. He received a two-year suspended prison sentence and was ordered to perform 150 hours of unpaid work.

His sentence falls under the Fraud Act for “supplying” content and the Copyright, Designs, and Patents Act of 1988 for “providing, promoting and marketing in the course of a business, a service designed to circumvent technological measures.”

O’Donnell’s sales tactics included direct contact, Facebook, and WhatsApp, with some purchases delivered in person. After an investigation by the anti-piracy group FACT, he was arrested by Merseyside Police on July 4th last year.

These unauthorized IPTV subscriptions included broadcasts from Sky, TNT Sports, and possibly other channels. UK authorities are continuing to crack down on pirate IPTV and arrest individuals behind these operations.

Revenue and Impact

While O’Donnell may not be a key figure in the broader pirate IPTV ecosystem, he still managed to generate £130,000 in revenue over several years.

The sales included modified Firesticks and standalone IPTV subscriptions priced between £40 and £85 for an annual plan.

Despite the revenue, the exact profit margins remain unclear, and due to his personal circumstances, O’Donnell is not required to pay any costs to the victims.

Legal and Industry Reactions

Both FACT and Merseyside Police expressed satisfaction with the case’s outcome, hoping it would serve as a deterrent to others involved in similar activities. FACT CEO Kieron Sharp emphasized the clear message that selling devices providing unauthorized content access could lead to criminal investigation, prosecution, and conviction.

Detective Inspector Steve Frame of Merseyside Police added that they would continue to use all available powers and collaborate with FACT to identify and prosecute others involved in this form of criminality.

This case is not an isolated incident in the UK; it is part of a broader effort to curb illegal streaming services. The FACT press release described the activities as an “illegal Firestick operation,” though it is important to note that Firesticks themselves are legal and remain available for sale on Amazon.


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Conclusion

The sentencing of Mr. O’Donnell is a notable step in the fight against unauthorized IPTV services. It underscores the legal risks associated with selling and distributing modified streaming devices and unauthorized subscription services.

For more details on this story, refer to the press release from FACT and the report from TorrentFreak.

Update: Merseyside Police confirmed that “O’Donnell was not required to pay any costs as part of his sentencing due to his personal circumstances.”

We want to know your thoughts on this story. What do you think about someone receiving a prison sentence for selling pre-loaded Firesticks? Let us know in the comment section below!

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Notable Replies

  1. It’s actually a 2 year suspended sentence so effectively nothing.

  2. Was providing a service to not very professional still only another twenty thousand to go good luck with that

  3. I remember about 6-7 years ago there were boatloads of “Loaded Firestick” resellers on Amazon. amazon was oblivious to what they were doing

  4. Bezos should be sentenced to prison for just selling Firesticks! lol

    Bezos Devil Bat gif

  5. You have to laugh really. The guy wasn’t doing anything really bad, he was supplying a service, ie, giving people what they wanted, a Firestick to do illegal stuff with. Not him! Its like a supplier delivering cigarettes or alcohol, what the person who buys it does with them shouldnt come back to the supplier.

  6. £134,000 for a 2 year suspended sentence not a bad return

  7. Avatar for Mslea Mslea says:

    He wasn’t very bright to use those media venues to market his service. He was bond to get caught

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