Advanced Television

£10K damages for Sky Sports infringement

April 15, 2019

By Colin Mann

Following successful legal action taken by Sky, Andrew Lynn, the Premises Licence Holder and Designated Premises Manager of Crown Hotel in Newmilns, Ayrshire, Scotland, has been ordered to pay £10,000 (€11,585) in damages for infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky Sports programming illegally in his premises. He 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 a permanent interdict (injunction) in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, which prevents the licensee and anyone acting on his behalf from infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky programming without the correct commercial licence.

“This ruling demonstrates 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 injunctions are prevented by a court order from infringing Sky’s copyright. We continue to monitor compliance with interdicts awarded; and 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 of such breaches. Last year, a DPM [Designated Premises Manager] was sentenced to a period of imprisonment of 14 days following repeated breaches of an interdict, demonstrating the potential consequences of non-compliance.”

“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.

This successful case comes from Sky’s instructions to intellectual property experts from Burness Paull LLP and forms 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.

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