Publican hit with £10K fine for illegal Sky use
September 26, 2016
By Colin Mann
Following a successful prosecution by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the Designated Premises Supervisor of the Bay Horse Hotel in the northern England city of Leeds has been convicted and ordered to pay more than £10,000 (€11,551) in fines and costs for showing Sky Sports illegally in the premises.
On 15th September 2016 at Leeds Magistrates Court, Martin Adamson of the Bay Horse Hotel was found guilty in his absence of two offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission (a Sky televised football match) at the premises with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge. This is contrary to Section 297 (1) of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988. In addition to receiving a criminal conviction, Adamson was ordered to pay a total of £10,554 in fines and costs.
Stephen Gerrard, Prosecuting Manager, FACT said the case clearly demonstrated that if a licensee showed Sky broadcasts in their premises by any other means than a Sky commercial viewing agreement they will be prosecuted. “If convicted they will receive an unlimited fine and can expect to pay substantial legal costs. Additionally, they risk having their Personal Licence suspended or revoked,” he warned.
This conviction was carried out by FACT on behalf of its members and forms a key part of Sky’s commitment to protecting pubs who invest in legitimate Sky Sports subscriptions. Sky is committed to visiting every licensed premises reported by other publicans and/or organisations for illegally showing Sky and will visit hundreds of pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK this season.
“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 and face substantial penalties as this latest case demonstrates,” advised George Lawson, Head of Commercial Piracy at Sky.
“We’re committed to protecting Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity and this case is just the latest in our efforts to ensure they are not left short changed.”