£35K fine for Sky Sports copyright breach

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Following successful legal action taken by Sky, Stephen Ashley the licensee of Rotunda Tavern in Cheltenham, has been found to be infringing Sky’s copyright by showing Sky Sports without having the required commercial agreement. Ashley was ordered to pay damages in the sum of £27,499.32 (€31,830) plus interest of £412.49 and costs of £7,867.50, totalling £35,779.31.

“Orders like this demonstrates the seriousness of screening Sky Sports without the required commercial licence,” stated George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky. “It is damaging to the industry, and those licensees who choose to show content in this way should be aware that they are at a high risk of being caught and facing substantial penalties. Our customers are very important to us and we will not hesitate in taking action against pubs who continue to screen Sky Sports fraudulently, ensuring that the thousands of the law-abiding pubs and clubs who pay for legitimate commercial Sky subscriptions are not short changed,” he warned.

This successful case come from Sky’s instruction of Russell Cooke LLP and form 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 has made arrangements to visit more than 700 pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK this season.


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