Pub Licensee Found Guilty Over Sky Sports Copyright Infringement

A pub manager and former licensee has been ordered to pay almost £50,000 in damages, costs and interest for showing Sky Sports without having a valid viewing agreement in place.

Ms Ann Duffy, the ex-premises supervisor of the Witton Arms pub in Birmingham, was found guilty of infringing Sky’s copyright for showing their sports channel illegally.

As a result, Ms Duffy was ordered to pay a total of £49,471.

George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, said: “this action clearly demonstrates that venues which choose to show Sky Sports without a valid agreement commit copyright infringement and will face legal action – and possibly hefty financial consequences as a result of their actions”.

He added: “Showing sports illegally creates an uneven playing field for thousands of hardworking licensees who legitimately invest in Sky Sports, which is why we are committed to protecting legitimate customers from those that threaten their businesses”.

Exploiting, copying or otherwise using another’s intellectual property without proper authorisation will amount to infringement. It is important to remember that copyright infringement is not a victimless crime – it can, and has the ability to, threaten legitimate businesses, employees and significantly undermine consumer confidence.

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Maung is a partner in our Corporate and Commercial department. He joined Mackrell Turner Garrett following corporate law positions in London and in a leading regional firm in Essex.