€14K damages for Sky Sports infringement
May 21, 2019
By Colin Mann
Following successful legal action taken by Sky, Atlantic Ocean Sands Hotel Limited, the licensee of Ocean Sands Hotel, Enniscrone, in the Republic of Ireland, has been ordered to pay damages of €14,616 for infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky Sports programming illegally in the premises. The company was also ordered to pay costs.
Sky was seeking damages for the illegal screenings that took place, and has been awarded a permanent injunction, which prevents the licensee and anyone acting on their behalf from infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky programming without the correct commercial licence.
Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in Ireland via a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business or Virgin Media. Licensees that show Sky broadcasts without a commercial viewing agreement risk similar action or even a criminal prosecution. In court the Judge commented the practice of illegal broadcasts was “grossly unfair” to establishments who paid for Sky.
“These rulings demonstrate the seriousness of the issue of showing Sky without a commercial agreement and highlight the consequences of televising Sky’s content illegally,” warned George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky. “Illegal broadcasting is a serious issue that is damaging to the hotel industry, which is why we’re committed to protecting Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity. This case is just the latest in our efforts to ensure they are not left short changed.”
Sky says it is committed to visiting every licensed premises reported by other publicans and/or organisations for illegally showing Sky and visits hundreds of pubs each week in towns and cities across Ireland.