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Thread: Premier League 'wins' pub satellite TV copyright battle

  1. #1
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    Premier League 'wins' pub satellite TV copyright battle

    Originally posted at : http://www.satandpcguy.com/forum/sho...pyright-battle)
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    Premier League 'wins' pub satellite TV copyright battle

    The Premier League is claiming victory against the importers of foreign satellite TV decoders in a high-profile copyright court battle.

    Some British pubs purchase satellite systems from other parts of the European Union, in order to offer Premier League football at a much cheaper cost than Sky and ESPN.

    The High Court has now said that the league can take action against the pubs on grounds of breach of copyright. But the satellite TV firms claim that they are still free to continue offering their services.

    The Premier League took out a civil action against digital box provider QC Suppler and publican SR Leisure Limited, but the case was put on hold in the UK after it was referred to the European Court for legal advice.

    The case was heard alongside the legal action of pub landlady Karen Murphy, who had bought a Greek satellite TV service using a QC decoder to use in her pub in Southsea.

    In a landmark ruling last October the European Court of Justice said that national laws prohibiting the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards were "contrary to the freedom to provide services and cannot be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums".

    However, the court also said that any opening video sequences, the Premier League anthem and pre-recorded highlights or graphics were "works" and so to show them in a pub would require permission from the Premier League.


    Following the ruling, the High Court said that importers of foreign satellite equipment had breached the Premier League's copyright by allowing pubs to show foreign broadcasts.

    But Lord Justice Kitchin said that the league had only proved its claims of breach of copyright "to a limited extent".

    "The defendants who are continuing to trade must be entitled to carry on their business in a way which avoids infringement of [Premier League] copyright if they are able to do so," Kitchin said in the judgment.

    Nick Noble, a Premier League spokesman, said that the judgement was "consistent with the ECJ ruling", adding: "The law gives us the right to prevent the unauthorised use of our copyrights in pubs and clubs when they are communicated to the public without our authority."

    In a statement, the league added: "We will now resume actions against publicans who are using European Economic Area foreign satellite systems to show Premier League football on their premises unlawfully and without our authority."

    But Anand Pattani, the lawyer representing QC Leisure and other defendants, told BBC News that the judge had "dismissed" the majority of league's claims against his clients.

    "Our clients are extremely pleased that, in line with the finding of the European Court, the judgment confirms that the majority of claims against our clients are to be dismissed," he said.

    "Insofar as there has been a finding of infringement relating to a limited number of artistic works our clients also welcome Lord Justice Kitchin's confirmation that they must be entitled to carry on their business in a way which avoids any such infringement."

    Karen Murphys case is due to be heard in the High Court later this year.

    source: digitalspy.co.uk/media/news/a363796/premier-league-wins-pub-satellite-tv-copyright-battle.html
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  2. #2
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    Premier League and satellite firms in new court ruling

    Premier League and satellite firms in new court ruling

    The Premier League and the importers of foreign satellite TV decoder boxes and cards are both claiming victory after their latest court battle.

    Satellite systems from other parts of the EU were sold to pubs for less then that charged by Sky and ESPN, who have exclusive UK deals with the league.

    Now, after a High Court hearing, the league says it will take action against pubs for breach of copyright.

    But the satellite importers claim they are free to carry on their business.

    Copyright v competition

    The Premier League had initially taken out a civil action against QC Leisure (a digital box supplier), and SR Leisure Limited (a publican).

    That case was sent to the European courts - along with that of pub landlady Karen Murphy, who had shown games in her pub using a QC decoder - for legal advice and guidance on points of law.

    It meant that UK prosecutions for using these systems had been put on hold while the case went to the European courts.

    Last autumn, the European courts ruled that national laws that prohibit the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards were contrary to the freedom to provide services.

    But is said while live matches were not protected by copyright, any surrounding media, such as any opening video sequence, the Premier League anthem, pre-recorded films showing highlights of recent Premier League matches and various graphics, were "works" protected by copyright.

    High Court ruling

    Now the High Court has said that in some aspects the importers of foreign satellite equipment had been in breach of Premier League copyright by allowing the showing of foreign broadcasts.

    But it also said that the Premier League had only proved its claims of breach of copyright "to a limited extent".

    Lord Justice Kitchen added that "the defendants who are continuing to trade must be entitled to carry on their business in a way which avoids infringement of [Premier League] copyright if they are able to do so".

    Furthermore, he said that clauses in Premier League TV contracts with national broadcasters that prohibit them from broadcasting Premier League games outside their own country's borders may constitute "a restriction on competition".

    'Court declaration'

    The Premier League said: "It is clear that the law gives us the right to prevent the unauthorised use of our copyrights in pubs and clubs when they are communicated to the public without our authority.

    "We will now resume actions against publicans who are using European Economic Area foreign satellite systems to show Premier League football on their premises unlawfully and without our authority."

    Anand Pattani, is a lawyer at Smithfield Partners legal firm, which has represented QC Leisure and other defendants.

    "Our clients are extremely pleased that, in line with the finding of the European Court, the judgment confirms that the majority of claims against our clients are to be dismissed," he said.

    "Insofar as there has been a finding of infringement relating to a limited number of artistic works our clients also welcome Lord Justice Kitchin's confirmation that they must be entitled to carry on their business in a way which avoids any such infringement. "

    Investment

    Daniel Geey, of FFW legal firm, is an expert on sport broadcasting issues.

    He says the High Court will now "make a declaration which will set out the precise infringing acts established against QC Leisure and the other defendants".

    And he said the overall effect of the High Court ruling, with its observations with regard to territorial sales of TV rights, "may may have significant implications for the way that the Premier League will be able to tender its matches in the next rights auction".

    Sky has pumped billions into top flight English football since the league was founded in 1992, with the money given to clubs allowing them to buy some of the top names in the world.

    The Premier League's television income from mainland Europe is about £130m, less than 10% of their total £1.4bn overseas rights deal.

    Ms Murphy's case will be heard in the High Court later this year.
    source: bbc.co.uk/news/business-16852324
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  3. #3
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    Found this summary of this case so far:

    1. Using a foreign EU satellite TV provider by private persons to watch EPL ordinarily is neither criminal nor even civil breach of copyright.
    2. Using a foreign EU satellite TV provider to watch/screen EPL in a pub or commercial premesis is not a criminal offence
    3. Pubs or commercial premesis can still very legally screen EPL with foreign EU satellite TV provider cards and essentially the latest judgment said they should be allowed to!
    4. Pubs or commercial premesis must be careful when using foreign satellite TV provider cards to screen EPL to avoid breaching FA/PL copyright.
    5. FA/PL copyright is not actually in the football being screened but in some pre-recorded material, some onscreen logos, some audio etc
    Last edited by satandpcguy; 4th February 2012 at 07:03 PM.
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  4. #4
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    With reference to "point 5" above "5. FA/PL copyright is not actually in the football being screened but in some pre-recorded material, some onscreen logos, some audio etc" the FA Premier League have started to have a small "watermark" of their logo on the screen.

    This logo was in the bottom right hand corner of some European satellite TV comapnies showing Premier League football this weekend.

    This logo was on FA Premier League matches on Canal+ (Spain), Tring, Viasat and Nova.

    This basicallty means any pub or commercial premesis showing this logo whilst showing a football match by a foreign EU satellite TV provider is now in breach of the FAs copyright and is liable for prosecution.
    The Sat and PC Guy
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