A pub landlady who was using an imported Greek satellite receiver to watch Premier League football has won the latest stage of her legal battle
In October, the European Court of Justice ruled that national laws that prohibit the import, sale of use of overseas smart cards are contrary to the freedom to provide services.
The High Court has said that Karen Murphy’s appeal to allow the use of the Greek issued decoder must be allowed, but the judge warned that there were other points of law regarding the legality of such screenings that would need to be decided “at a later date”.
Murphy, landlady of the Red, White and Blue pub in Portsmouth, had purchased a subscription to the Greek channel Nova in an attempt to save on the cost of a Sky retail subscription. Rather than pay the £700 per month levied by Sky, Murphy spent £800 on an annual sub to Nova.
She has subsequently spent £8,000 over a six-year period in fighting the prosecution.
Commenting on the case a Sky spokesperson said: “The UK courts have already ruled that the unauthorised use of the Premier League’s copyrighted material via foreign satellite systems in pubs infringes copyright and is therefore illegal. This remains the case following the ruling in the Murphy case. We will continue to protect our legitimate customers by supporting action against licensees who break the law. At the same time, we will continue to work with the licensed trade to help even more pubs and clubs enjoy the business benefits of live sport.”
Meanwhile, a campaign backed by Sky and the Premier League warning pubs against the use of foreign satellite broadcasts is underway. Full page advertisements have been taken in trade publications, such as the Morning Advertiser, reminding pubs that no broadcasters other than Sky and ESPN have been authorised by the Premier League for distribution in pubs.