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Sky customer dinged for livestreaming pay-per-view boxing to Facebook

It's a mystery how they found out. Call Sherlock

By Andrew Orlowski

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A Sky subscriber who illegally streamed a pay-per-view boxing match to Facebook has copped a plea with the broadcaster.

Craig Foster, of Scarborough, England, had paid the £19.95 fee to watch the fight live last April, and invited friends round to watch. One pointed his iPad at the TV and in the spirit of information wants to be free, man, began to livestream the broadcast to Facebook, acquiring more than 4,000 real-time viewers.

"I've apologised and told them we were drunk," he told the Mirror.

Foster agreed to pay £5,000 in legal fees to Foot Anstey LLP, representing Sky, but now regrets it and says he wants to go to court. Foster is likely to lose even more money should he proceed to contest the case; the Digital Economy Act introduced custodial sentences for "egregious" or industrial-scale piracy, such as movie release groups.

Rights-holders including Sky sister company Fox Sports have experimented with using Facebook as a distribution channel for live sports streams. And Facebook is reportedly considering bidding for the world's most expensive sports rights: the Premier League.

But if Facebook is to be a worthwhile platform for the expensively acquired rights, that inevitably means clamping down hard on hapless unlicensed streamers like Foster. Some miscreants will be easier to find than this Sky subscriber. ®

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