Man convicted of copyright offences - Reading

14/12/2012

A Reading man has been convicted of a number of copyright offences in relation to the illegal streaming of football matches.

Gary Goodger, aged 24, from Ratby Close, Lower Earley, was found guilty at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday, 12 December 2012, of one count of communicating a copyrighted work to the public in the course of a business contrary to S.107(2A) of the Copyright, Design & Patents Act 1988.

His accomplice, Jack Bannister, aged 23, from Portal Grove, Burnley, Lancashire, was found guilty of transferring criminal property contrary to S.327(1)(d) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, after he was hired by Goodger to process payments from the copyright offences.

Goodger was the operator of a website called freelivefooty that made unauthorised broadcasts of live Premier League football matches to subscribers worldwide. Goodger took the matches illegally from foreign satellite broadcasts using a two metre satellite dish, seven computers, and nine satellite decoder boxes at his home.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) commenced an investigation on behalf of the Premier League, a FACT member, and supplied evidence to the Thames Valley Police Economic Crime Unit (ECU), who arrested Goodger and Bannister in November 2010.

Numerous 'cease and desist' notices had been sent to the website on behalf of the Premier League, but Goodger's activities continued. Investigations showed that Bannister had processed the money through his PayPal account. Both men were subsequently charged on 27 June 2011, and found guilty after a six day trial.

Both men will be sentenced at Reading Crown Court on 25 January 2013.