Licensees fined for Sky copyright infringement

Following successful legal action taken by Sky, the licensees of three premises in the North and Midlands regions of England have been found to be infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky Sports without having the required commercial agreements.

Gail Asquith of Travellers Rest, Bradford and James McKeever of Winning Post, Worcester both had previous criminal convictions for screening Sky Sports without the correct commercial agreements and as a result of civil proceedings in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court have been ordered to pay damages and legal costs. Asquith was ordered to pay a total of £22,159 (€24,889) and McKeever was ordered to pay a total of £19,716. James Keogh, licensee of Keogh’s Irish Bar, Nottingham was also found to have infringed copyright and ordered to pay a total figure of £21,400 in damages and costs.

“Orders like these demonstrate the seriousness of screening Sky Sports without the required commercial licences,” comented George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky. “It is damaging to the industry, and those licensees who choose to show content in this way should be aware that they are at a high risk of being caught and facing substantial penalties.”

“Our customers are very important to us and we will not hesitate in taking action against pubs who continue to screen Sky Sports fraudulently, ensuring that the thousands of the law-abiding pubs and clubs who pay for legitimate commercial Sky subscriptions are not short changed.”

These successful cases come from Sky’s instruction of London-based law firm Russell-Cooke LLP and form a key part of its 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 has made arrangements to visit more than 700 pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK during the 2017/18 football season.

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