Advanced Television

Licensees hit with £30K Sky Sports damages

May 31, 2019

By Colin Mann

Following successful legal action taken by Sky, licensees of three Scottish premises – Natalie Coggans, the Designated Premises Manager (DPM) of Woodhead Bar, Andrew Quay, DPM of Darroch Bar and Lorraine Robertson, DPM of The Grange – have each been ordered to pay £10,000 (€111,283) 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 was awarded permanent interdicts (injunctions) in the Court of Session, Edinburgh, preventing 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 broadcasting Sky’s content illegally,” commented George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky.

“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 the interdict order 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 was sentenced to a period of 14 days imprisonment following repeated breaches of 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.”

These successful cases come from Sky’s instructions to intellectual property experts 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.

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