Pub Licensee Fined £50,000 for Breaching Sky’s Copyright

Sky Sports initiated legal proceedings against French- the manager of The New Inn for infringing its copyright by broadcasting the Premier League games to customers without having valid commercial viewing agreements.

The ruling comes following a court hearing in November 2015 where French admitted the same offence of broadcasting unauthorised Sky Sports matches in the premises. At this hearing French was warned that she risks a £50,000 fine in the event she repeats the Sky Sports broadcasts. French ignored the warning and on 19 July 2016 she went on to commit further breaches. French was arrested and the following day she found herself before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court for a hearing.

The case was adjourned until 26 July 2016. At the subsequent hearing, French was found to have again breached Sky’s copyright and has as a result been ordered to pay damages of £50,000 and a further £24,000 in costs.

Alison Dolay- deputy managing director at Sky Business commented: “Orders like this result from some licensees thinking they are above the law, the law is clear- if you choose to televise content illegally then you run the very real risk of being caught and facing substantial penalties or even arrest. The risks are not worth running”. She continued “Illegal broadcasting without a valid subscription is damaging to the sector, and those licensees who choose to televise content in this way should be aware that they are at high risk of being caught. We’re committed to prptecvting SKky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity and this case is just the latest in our efforts to ensure that they are not short changed”.

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