Sky awarded anti-piracy injunction
May 30, 2022
By Colin Mann
The first ever injunction prohibiting a licensee from screening Sky has been issued in England. The licensee, who is accused of screening Sky Sports illegally at her premises, has been made the subject of an Injunction prohibiting her from showing Sky at the Railway Tavern, Edmonton Green, London, or any other premises that she is connected to, unless she enters into the correct commercial contracts with Sky.
Despite numerous warnings, Nancy Maxwell, the Premises Licence Holder of the Railway Tavern, continued to show Sky Sports broadcasts without a valid subscription.
Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK through a commercial viewing agreement from Sky Business, and anyone who breaches this can face legal action. In the instance of Maxwell, Sky made an application for an Injunction to stop the flagrant breaches of their copyright and intellectual property rights.
The Injunction is an order made by the Intellectual Property & Enterprise Court of the High Court in England. If the Injunction is breached, Maxwell could be found to be in contempt of court and face a potential custodial sentence. The Injunction also states that if the court finds that any other person assists Nancy Maxwell in showing Sky programming, when aware of the terms of the Injunction, then they could also be held to be in contempt of court.
The Injunction will remain in place until a full hearing into the breaches of Sky’s copyright are heard later in 2022.
“It’s important to us that businesses are aware of the consequences of showing Sky Sports illegally – it is a serious issue that is damaging to the pub industry, and those licensees who choose to televise content in this way should be aware that they are at high risk of being caught and face substantial penalties,” stated Sara Stewart, Commercial Compliance Lead at Sky Business. “We take breaches of Sky’s copyright very seriously and remain committed to protecting our legitimate Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.”