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Licensees fined for Sky Sports infringement

August 21, 2019

By Colin Mann

Following successful legal action taken by Sky, three premises in the Republic of Ireland have been ordered to pay damages for infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky Sports programming illegally. Bridge Bar was ordered to pay €14,688; Joshua Tree Bar failed to adhere to settlement terms and was ordered to pay €17,500; and River Lane Bar will need to pay €18,444 for also failing to adhere to settlement terms. All licensees were also ordered to pay costs.

Sky was awarded a permanent injunction, in Co Cork circuit Cork, preventing the licensee and anyone acting on their behalf from infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky programming without the correct commercial licence.

Sky brought these proceedings against the licensee for infringing its copyright by showing Sky Sports to customers without having valid commercial viewing agreements in place. 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.

“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,” declared George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky.

“Illegal broadcasting is a serious issue that is damaging to the pub 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.”

The successful case forms a key part of Sky’s 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 visits hundreds of pubs each week in towns and cities across Ireland during 2019.


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