Alleged Operator Of Sport Streaming Websites Fined With $13,000
Following February’s takedowns of some major sport-streaming portals, U.S. authorities apprehended Yonjo Quiroa – a man suspected of operating several websites that offered links to illegal sports streams. Now, the alleged admin is to pay $13,000 in damages to five important sports leagues – NBA, NFL, NHL, WWE and TNA.
It all started at the beginning of this year, when the Department of Justice, in collaboration with ICE, seized a couple of domains offering sport streaming services for fans around the world. At the time, the authorities also arrested a 28-year-old man – Yonjo Quiroa of Comstock Park, Michigan – who was suspected of running nine of these domains.
Among the websites in question, we name hq-streams.tv, sportswwe.com and sports95.com. Although none of them hosted any infringing materials, they did offer links to third-party services.
An ICE officer’s statement explains that the aforementioned links offered access to unauthorized streams of NBA, NHL and WWE events. The complaint also notes that between 2010 and 2011 Mr. Quiroa cashed $13,000 through ads.
Meanwhile, the alleged operator was kept in custody, with no right to bail. Six months after his arrest (August 2012), Mr. Quiroa pleaded guilty for copyright misdemeanour.
After nine months, District Court Judge Robert Ellis decided that the 28-year-old man served his time and should be deported, but not before paying $25 in criminal penalties and $2,600 for each sport league involved in this trial.
It’s the first time when a sports streaming website operator gets convicted in the US, thus setting the path for other cases.
For example, Brian McCarthy – owner of the Channelsurfing.net, which is also a sports streaming service – was arrested in March 2011. And as far as extradition is concerned, Richard O’Dwyer may share the fate of Mr. Quiroa for his involvement in TVShack.