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    Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

    This is a discussion on Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month within the Sky news and announcements forums, part of the SkyUser Announcements category; BBC News - Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month Criminal gangs are selling hacked pay television services at ...

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      Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      BBC News - Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month
      Criminal gangs are selling hacked pay television services at a fraction of their true cost, a BBC investigation has revealed.

      Subscribers to satellite or cable TV can pay more than £80 a month to legitimately receive premium packages.

      But fraudsters were caught on camera selling set-top boxes which access equivalent packages for £10 per month.

      In light of the findings, experts warned hacked satellite and cable TV is increasing and becoming the "new norm".

      One of the fraudsters exposed by the BBC London/Inside Out investigation was Gyula Markovits, a Venezuelan satellite dish installer living in south London. He sold hacked boxes that receive every conceivable channel for less than an eighth of the normal monthly price.

      While installing a hacked system, Mr Markovits was secretly recorded saying: "Yes, of course it's illegal - you're getting something for free that you should be paying for.

      "They never go after the customers anyway, they go after the guy that runs the network.

      "You can buy the box and it shows you all the Sky channels for one year - I do it myself. That's a very underground thing, really."

      He boasted that he had 150 customers, generating him almost £20,000 a year in illicit income. Mr Markovits subsequently denied all wrongdoing.

      Shop 'closed'

      Another fraudster, who called himself Ahmed, sold BBC researchers numerous fraudulent packages from satellite TV shop Golsat in Upton Park, east London.

      He said of the £150 access to all Sky movies and sport: "This is nothing for what you [are] going to watch, seriously."

      Within days of being confronted with the BBC's evidence, Golsat appeared to shut down.

      A poster on the door said it had "closed for refurbishment". Ahmed did not respond to a request for a comment.

      Under the Copyright Act, those convicted of supplying the equipment could face a 10-year jail sentence and unlimited fine.

      Sky, BT and Virgin have all refused to reveal how many cases of hacked TV they encounter a year.

      But the BBC heard of dozens of examples of the fraud spread right across the UK, both tip-offs and cases currently going through the courts.

      It is a nationwide problem, with Swansea and Cardiff highlighted as hotspots for pubs using cracked boxes to stream Premier League football.

      Gang rumours

      Keith Cottenden, forensic services director at consultants Cy4or, said there were some areas in the UK where those hacking satellite TV outnumber viewers paying for it legitimately.

      He said: "Some of the stats don't make good reading for the providers.

      "In some areas, there are not as many subscribers as there are others.

      "Within the urban areas, it's widespread - most cities have a wide network of people doing this."

      During the investigation, the BBC accompanied City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit raiding an individual in Liverpool suspected of being the ringleader of a gang supplying the boxes to customers around the country.

      Documentation was seized and officers continue to investigate.

      The BBC heard reports from the police of numerous gangs. Managers at Golsat and Mr Markovits were recorded saying that they were part of a wider gang, implementing, managing, selling and marketing the devices that perpetuated the fraud.

      Dr Luke McDonagh, an expert in copyright law at Cardiff University, said: "The problem is there, it's getting more widespread and the big broadcasters are trying to cut down on it by targeting the criminal enterprises that are running these pirated systems.

      "But it's very difficult to crack down on the use of cracked decoders by consumers - so many people are doing it, it is becoming the norm.

      "If it continues then we may see the broadcasters having to change their model like the music industry has with things like Spotify - it could become that wide-scale."

      The Federation Against Copyright Theft (Fact) said the illegal pirating of paid-for television was not a victimless crime.

      Fact spokesman Eddy Leviten said: "Is it fair that someone will be able to steal from someone else and that person will not be not paid for their work?

      "That impacts not just on that one single person but on their families as well, all those who rely on that income."

      One of the individuals exposed has now been referred to trading standards.

      A spokesman for Newham council said that as a result of the BBC's investigation the authority had referred Mr Markovits and his business to its trading standards team.

      Between them Sky, Virgin and BT have 17.5m legitimate pay-TV customers.

      How it works

      The television signal is received in the usual way, but it is encrypted by the broadcasters in an attempt to prevent piracy. The boxes use the internet to stream the encryption key, allowing the viewer to receive channels.
      Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One London on Monday, 10 February at 19:30 GMT and nationwide on the iPlayer for seven days thereafter.


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      Re: Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      Yup, these have been available for years, I seriously considered a card sharing box at one point. However they are a lot of money for an un-guaranteed/illegal service and card sharing in general is now rendered pointless by the availability of everything on the internet anyway. Also sharer gets raided the POPO check their internet and bam there is your IP addy= criminal conviction. I think the ONLY way companies will ever kill ANY black market (be it media, booze, smokes) is by making their service cheap and GOOD VALUE. Regardless of what they or their fanboys say, all of them (Virgin Sky etc) have been ripping us off with premium prices for very little more than repeats and licensing restrictions for years. Where is my internet streaming licensed Virgin Sky box etc? No need for expensive spacey stuff anymore, at least for us with a reasonable internet speed, I know not everyone has that luxury yet.. but a large proportion do.
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      Re: Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      Whilst Sky TV is a premium service, let us be fair and admit it isn't cheap.

      As for value for money, this is down to personal interpretation.

      We can say how many channels are available, how many offer a HD version, even the Sky 3D channel. However if you are not interested in the umpteen religious channels, don't have a HD TV or only see with one eye, then all of that is meaningless.

      No one needs to get Sky TV. No one has to download the content from their CUTV servers or those from the many other providers. The choice is yours.

      If you are short of funds, then consider reducing or cancelling your Sky TV subscription.

      However there are some 10.4 million paying subscribers who might be a little upset with those who wish to pay £10 a month to someone who is cheating the system.

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      Re: Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      After years of forums forbidding discussion of this type of technology the BBC have now made it main stream and changed that forever - how can a forum delete a topic freely discussed by the BBC?

      Card sharing is illegal and it's best avoided. However it exists and people will take up the offer because of the premium prices charged by the current crop of PayTV suppliers. I wouldn't go down that route myself but others will and have - that's their choice.

      Will Sky/BT/Virgin reduce prices to make it less attractive to card share? I'm sure they have a simple formula that calculates the profit lost due to card sharing and another that calculates the profit lost if they reduce the price to everyone. The result is almost certainly in favour of accepting the card sharing loss and trying to improve their policing of this type of activity.

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      Re: Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      The BBC were practically advertising for the dodgy boxes to anyone who didn't know about them before. I'd not heard of them before but now I know exactly what to get.

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      Re: Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      I saw a blurb for that and wanted to watch it; but it was on at 1430 over here and..I was busy. As a general satellite geek, I'm always interested when "things hit the fan". I also have to laugh when a news station covers something like that as a report. Yes, it's serious....but at the same time they've just exposed the idea to a ton of people who may not have had any idea about it. We had card-sharing/card-hacking for digital satellite systems happen for years; they just didn't report about it because it kept the number of people who actually knew about it down. But that's actually nothing new with pay-tv; as long as someone has been charging for a signal, someone has found a way of receiving it. They add scrambling/encryption, they just crack it. I don't think it's nearly the problem over here anymore; cable systems went digital making the cable descrambler market obsolete and I don't think satellite hacking got very "big" over here.

      As far as digital satellite goes, I think they're still battling it out over here. I know a little more than 10 years ago, DirecTV had big issues with hacked cards on the market. You could buy a pre-programmed hacked card for a steep price, send in one of your old cards to get reprogrammed or buy a programmer and do it yourself if you had the technical know-how, most of the places that sold cards also made the flash data available...or you could get it somewhere. They did crack down on websites in the US offering the services; then the guys moved to Canada. This posed a problem as since DirecTV wasn't sold up there, it technically wasn't "theft of service". The US was powerless to do anything and Canada at the time wasn't interested. Of course, there always that dodgy-looking character that worked for the local satellite service that had the stuff to do this kind of thing. I don't think it was ever a giant criminal enterprise with a lot of organization...at most one or two guys. I do know they had taken steps to ensure the hacked cards were no longer possible; I'm not sure what the current status was. They also issued new card series every few years and update the system so the old ones wouldn't work. You could actually get a card emulator that would interface the new card with the receiver...but do some things in the middle to apply a hack. They got clever, they really got clever. I was entirely too young to know where to even get a cable descrambler. I know toward the end of the analogue era; you could find them online with little effort.

      I'll admit that I thought about doing this as a "that's cool" factor. I didn't have a need for it since I was paying for it; but as a satellite geek I just had to look further. The £10 a month fee both seems high and cheap at the same time. I remember here it would cost you about $40 (£24.34) to have a card programmed, twice that to buy one pre-programmed, and it was around $300 (£182) for the hardware to emulate a card...a programmer ran anywhere from £20 - £40. You didn't have to pay again till the card quit working.

      I think it's gotten easier on cable systems since going all digital; it's either a bit more difficult or practically impossible to modify a box to decrypt everything.

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      @dewdude it's supposed to be on BBC iPlayer for another few days so you may yet be able to watch it (might have a look myself later)
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      Re: Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      Well, I watch Sky over a Slingbox because I live in the US. I don't have a method of streaming BBC iPlayer. But thanks for the suggestion.

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      Re: Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      Quote Originally Posted by dms05 View Post
      After years of forums forbidding discussion of this type of technology the BBC have now made it main stream and changed that forever - how can a forum delete a topic freely discussed by the BBC?
      Just to clarify things for the lawyers, I think that it would be fair to say that by cross-posting the story, we are in no ways supporting the ability for people to do this.

      Personally I was aware that it had been done in the past and that there was a big trade in it at one time.

      I was under the wrong impression that this had been stopped and that pirate cards were no longer available for Sky. For my own reasons I do not wish to seek out the sites that offer you the ability to access Sky content without subscribing to it.

      I currently pay £62 per month for my TV package. I also have access to Sky Go Extra for free and sleep well.

      Sure I do download torrents but I also pay to go to the cinema and purchase some Blu-rays to add to my collection of DVDs and Blu-rays. I also buy the occasional CD.

      I do appreciate that not everyone can afford to pay their Sky TV subscription. We see people each month joining and leaving Sky on these forums for their own reasons. There are many reasons for this and they will be quite personal to each member. Of course I do hope that things will improve once more for them and that they will be able to join Sky again.

      There are a lot of things in the pipeline for Sky TV (sorry I can't say too much more at this time ). I do not think that they will all work on a pirated card. I can only hope that people will see the sense and get a legitimate subscription.

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      Re: Pirated Sky TV sold for £10 a month

      I agree with you partially anyway Scubbie, however Sky's "deals" and different rates for different folks are an insult, and I for one feel no malice at all toward anyone who manages to steal from Sky. As a legitimate subscriber I'm more angered by Sky offering the same packages cheaper to others, more than I ever will be by the criminal fraternity's shenanigans. I'm no expert but I'm sure if they fixed the same price for everyone and halved the price, they'd probably sell three times as much. BTW I wonder if employee's free Sky is included in their taxes, that's quite a bonus now Sky costs that much a year :P

      BBC uncovers ‘criminal’ organisation offering full sky packages for £80 a month

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