Advanced Television

Licensees fined £20K for Sky Sports infringements

February 26, 2019

By Colin Mann

Following successful legal action taken by Sky, North Valley Pubs Limited (the Tenant) and Debra Tait (the Designated Premises Manager (DPM) of The Melody Bar , and Samantha MacKay (the DPM) of Stirrup Stane , both in Scotland, have each been ordered to pay £10,000 (€8,800) in damages for infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky Sports programming illegally in their premises. They must also pay Sky’s costs and fund the placement of notices advertising the rulings in local and trade press.

Sky sought and was awarded permanent interdicts (injunctions) in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, which prevent the licensees and anyone acting on their behalf from infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky programming without the correct commercial licence.

“These rulings demonstrate the seriousness of this issue and through the orders to fund advertising, we hope to highlight the consequences of televising Sky’s content illegally,” commented George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky.

“Following the interdicts being granted, those subjected to the interdicts are prevented by a court order from infringing Sky’s copyright. We continue to monitor compliance with interdicts awarded. Continuing to infringe Sky’s copyright in breach of interdict may constitute a contempt of court. If required to do so, Sky will not hesitate to take further legal action in respect such breaches. Last year, a DPM was sentenced to a period of imprisonment of 14 days following repeated breaches of an interdict, demonstrating the potential consequences of non-compliance,” he warned.

“We are committed to visiting thousands of pubs every season to monitor the games they are showing, as well as investigating suppliers to protect Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity,” he confirmed.

These successful cases come from Sky’s instructions to intellectual property experts from Burness Paull LLP and form a key part of Sky’s commitment to protecting pubs who invest in legitimate Sky Sports subscriptions, SPFL and Premier League matches are broadcast live exclusively on Sky Sports and BT Sport in Scotland. Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in Scotland via a commercial agreement from Sky.

Categories: Articles, Broadcast, Pay TV, Policy, Regulation