A pub landlady who was fined for screening FA Premier League football matches using a foreign satellite decoder has had her criminal conviction overturned by the High Court.
Landlady, Karen Murphy, had previously been ordered to pay £8,000 in fines and costs after being found guilty of breaching the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA).
However the court has overturned this verdict, after it found that Karen Murphy had been wrongly found guilty.
Ms Murphy had bought a foreign decoder to show live Premier League football matches in her pub, because the subscription to the service was cheaper than the UK service operated by BskyB, who the Premier League have licensed the right to show live games in the UK.
The Premier League and BSkyB claimed that this was prohibited because broadcaster agreements prevented customers from using the decoders “outside the national territory concerned” and that the activity was in breach of copyright law.
However, the ECJ ruled that broadcasters and other rights holders cannot create licences for broadcasters that stop them selling their services to other EU countries because that is a breach of EU competition laws.
In his ruling, Lord Justice Burnton, said Ms Murphy had paid for her card, adding: “She had not avoided any charge applicable to its use and had not acted dishonestly. As is conceded by Media Protection Services, it follows that she was wrongly convicted.
“Her appeal will be allowed and the convictions quashed.”
Mackrell Turner Garrett Solicitors in London
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