A man has been slapped with a £45,000 fine for sharing live streams of Sky Sports. Waqas Rasheed was found guilty of breaching the company’s copyright after sharing broadcasts from the then Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 channels in March and April last year.

He shared the streams on website IPTVdonations.com for other people to illegally watch.

Rasheed claimed he had accidentally created the streams while trying to watch Sky Sports for free online, but the judge shot down his excuse.

Mr Rasheed also skipped his hearing in March without explanation, with a judge ruling in his absence that he had no defence.

The ruling has come before World Intellectual Property Day on April 26, set up to ‘raise awareness of how patents, copyright, trademarks and designs impact on daily life’.

Kieron Sharp, Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) chief, acknowledged that the public still has a lot to learn with regard online piracy.

“This result is an excellent example of just how serious an issue illegal streaming is,” he said.

“This case in particular highlights that ignorance is not a defence and digital piracy is not a grey area.

Rasheed’s case comes after another Brit, Yusuf Mohammed, was ordered to pay £16,000 in costs in October for streaming Sky Sports on his blog.

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