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Massive Seller of Pirate IPTV Boxes Avoids Jail Time

By iptv.legal , in News , at January 18, 2024

Massive Pirate IPTV Box Seller Avoids Jail Time

A massive seller of pirate IPTV boxes has avoided jail time due to delays in the prosecution.

In the world of piracy and intellectual property theft, the case of Jordon Longbottom stands out as a remarkable example.

Operating from a static caravan in Wales, Longbottom, aged 42, ran a ‘successful’ business selling pirate TV devices.

Jordan Longbottom (Image Source: MEN)

His operation, which lasted from August 2015 to May 2017, reportedly generated substantial revenue by selling thousands of piracy-configured TV boxes to customers across the UK.

The Private Prosecution by FACT

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) brought a private criminal prosecution against Longbottom, claiming his venture brought in up to £1 million.

FACT

However, Longbottom contested this figure, suggesting his earnings were closer to £300,000.

This case highlights a growing trend in the UK, where private entities, due to inadequate state prosecution resources, increasingly undertake legal actions against alleged criminals.

The Legal Proceedings and Outcome

Greater Manchester Police raided Longbottom’s caravan in January 2017. However, Longbottom was in Florida at the time and did not return to the UK until March 2017, when he was arrested upon arrival.

Despite his arrest, Longbottom’s business reportedly continued, albeit with less direct involvement from him.

The Verdict and Sentencing

In a surprising turn of events, Longbottom avoided prison. He pleaded guilty to offenses under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, and the Fraud Act, but was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for 24 months.

This decision took into account the overcrowding in UK prisons and the significant delay in bringing the case to court, which was partly attributed to the small legal team at FACT handling other cases.

A Reflection on the UK’s Legal System

This case has sparked a national debate about private prosecutions in the UK, especially in the wake of the TV drama ‘Mr Bates vs The Post Office’ which highlighted the ‘Horizon’ scandal.

It raises concerns about a potential two-tier justice system, where individuals or entities with substantial financial resources can seek justice privately, while regular citizens may not have the same luxury.

The High Conviction Rates of Private Prosecutions

Private prosecutions are known for their high conviction rates. The cases brought by entities like FACT, the Premier League, and involving companies like Sky, are testaments to this fact.

Although such prosecutions avoid scandals like that of the Post Office, they are not without controversy, as seen in Longbottom’s case.

The Reality of Private Prosecutions in Piracy

The Deterrent Effect and Its Limitations

Private prosecutions in piracy cases are often reported in the media as a deterrent. However, as Longbottom’s case shows, this approach does not always have the intended effect.

Despite his arrest, Longbottom’s sales of pirate TV boxes continued until at least May 2017.

The Impact of Police Funding Cutbacks

The rise in private prosecutions is also symptomatic of broader issues in the UK’s legal system, such as police funding cutbacks and the lack of investment in fraud-specific training.

These factors contribute to the overcrowding in prisons and the advisory to reserve immediate custodial sentences for the “most serious of cases.”

Beyond the Case: The Bigger Picture

The Daily Mail, in its coverage, warns that users of illegal streaming platforms could face imprisonment.

This reflects the law under Section 11 of the Fraud Act 2006 but also underscores the complexity of determining what constitutes a “serious” offense.

Longbottom’s Continued Ventures and Legal Ramifications

After his initial arrest, Longbottom started a new company, Sat Tech UK (NW) Ltd, which later became Smarterbuyz Ltd.

This company ventured into the retro-gaming market, selling consoles pre-loaded with thousands of ROMs. The venture, however, was met with mixed reviews and was eventually dissolved in

April 2019. The trajectory of Longbottom’s business endeavors, shifting from piracy-configured TV boxes to the retro-gaming market, exemplifies the blurred lines and legal complexities surrounding intellectual property and copyright infringement.

The Lesson from Longbottom’s Case

Longbottom’s case serves as a crucial reminder of the ongoing challenges in enforcing intellectual property laws and the potential inequities in the legal system.

It also highlights the need for a more robust and equitable approach to handling such cases, ensuring that justice is accessible to all, irrespective of financial resources.

Conclusion

The story of Jordon Longbottom is not just about piracy and illegal business practices; it’s a mirror reflecting the intricate workings and shortcomings of the UK’s legal system.

As private prosecutions become more prevalent, the question of fairness and accessibility to justice looms larger.

The case prompts a critical examination of the UK’s legal framework, urging a reevaluation of how justice is administered and who gets to wield its power.

The debate over private prosecutions and their role in creating a two-tier justice system is far from over.

It underscores the need for legal reforms that ensure equitable access to justice for all citizens, regardless of their financial standing.

As the UK continues to navigate these complex legal and ethical waters, cases like Longbottom’s serve as pivotal points for reflection and potential catalysts for change.

For more details on this story, refer to the official report from Manchester Evening News and the article on TorrentFreak.

Legal Streaming Options

IPTV Wire can’t determine whether third-party IPTV services, apps, websites, or add-ons hold the proper licensing.

If and when a streaming website is deemed illegal, we notify our users immediately and update reports on our website like this one to reflect that information.

In conclusion, the end-user is responsible for all content accessed through free streaming sites, apps, and paid services.

See our detailed guide below for more information on the legality of IPTV and everything you need to know before streaming.

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