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joshua klitschko

Let this be a warning to any wannabe pirates out there: you could be fined thousands of pounds for broadcasting copyrighted material illegally.

That's what happened to one Scarborough man, who illegally streamed the Joshua vs Klitschko boxing match on Facebook Live (the fight was only viewable legally in the UK on Sky Box Office). Craig Foster was fined £5,000. But he could've had to pay much more.

The 34-year-old was facing a potential legal bill of £85,000 if the case went to court, Sky's lawyers told him. He agreed to settle for the lesser sum, though he protests his innocence.

He claims he paid the £19.95 to watch the fight on Sky Box Office, but one of his friends filmed the action using Foster's iPad, which was logged in to Foster's Facebook account. Facebook Live lets you broadcast anything live, which has caused headaches for copyright owners.

The lawyers asked for the name of Foster's friend, though he wasn't forthcoming.

Just over 4,000 people watched his illegal stream on Facebook Live. It's claimed more than 400,000 people watched the fight illegally using the service, costing Sky millions in lost revenue.

Foster remains defiant. "I'd paid for the boxing, it wasn't like I was making any money," he told The Mirror. "My iPad was signed in to my Facebook account and my friend just started streaming the fight.

"I didn't think anything of it, then a few days later they cut my subscription."

He claims he panicked when given 24 hours to respond to Sky's lawyers, and so coughed up the bill of £5,000. He plans to fight the case in court.

Neil Parkes, of Sky's lawyers Foot Anstey, said: "Mr Foster broke the law. He has acknowledged his wrongdoing, apologised and signed a legally binding agreement to pay a sum of £5,000 to Sky."

The maximum punishment for illegally selling or streaming copyrighted content is 10 years in jail.

Source: The Mirror

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