London lawyers to challenge Sky

Related tags Foreign satellite football Media protection services Crime Lawyer Barrister

London lawyers to challenge Sky
A firm of London solicitors is offering to defend licensees against criminal prosecution for showing foreign satellite football. The firm,...

A firm of London solicitors is offering to defend licensees against criminal prosecution for showing foreign satellite football.

The firm, Chadwyck-Healey & Co, says it has studied the law and believes licensees are not committing a criminal offence.

I am firmly of the view that these broadcasts are not from the UK​Nicholas Chadwyck-Healey, solicitor.

Nicholas Chadwyck-Healey told "I am firmly of the view that these broadcasts are not from the UK and are not covered by the act Sky are using to prosecute."

Chadwyck-Healey said the Copyright Designs and Patents Act came into being to stop genuine criminal activity - like hacking into satellite signals - and he felt Sky was using bullying tactics to criminalise licensees.

He said: "This should be in the High Court, in the Chancery Division being thrashed out by the civil department but I think Sky are of the opinion that a ruling in its favour in the High Court might be used against it in other countries where Sky is shown."

Chadwyck-Healey said he was looking forward to going up against Sky with his defence.

He said: "It needs somebody to understand the technicalities of the defence and be able to explain it coherently so that a lay bench or a Judge can understand it."

The firm has joined with the European Satellite Television Association (ESTA), The People's Network Advocates and suppliers PubFootball Ltd and QC Leisure who are offering to pay licensees' legal costs for the price of a subscription to ESTA.

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Your CommentsBarbera Bamford​ via email, 16/08/2006As a licensee of a public house in Stevenage, my husband and I are both due to be prosecuted by Media Protection Services for showing ART Sport. On reading your article concerning this matter, it has given me quite a bit of comfort.

We never knowingly thought that this was illegal and bought the system in good faith, purely and simply for our regulars. We have never advertised football as we have never wanted to encourage 'undesirables' in our pub.

When we were summoned to court we enlisted the aid of a solicitor here in Stevenage. We printed articles from the web regarding this matter but it still did not stop these people carrying on with their prosecution of us. We are now due in court on 28th September to answer these charges. I have spent many a sleepless night over this as we are both respectable people of the community and never have knowingly committed any illegal acts.

Sky and Media Protection Services have by their actions caused me a great deal of distress and I can only hope that Nicholas Chadwyck-Healey's comments will make them sit up and think before any more licensee's are forced to suffer. Having read this and other articles, I am now waiting to see if the case against us will be dropped, or will we still have to suffer the humiliation of our pub and our good name being dragged down by local reporting etc.

Angie​ via email 15/08/2006"Hia, in response to the Law Firm taking on Sky, Its about time us licensees had someone with us, Sky wanted to charge me £700 a Month for sports and PPV football, I pay £365.a year with satellite for the same games and more, no wonder sky is using scare tactics and claims we are criminals, theres only one one Bandit here!!"

ESTA​ via email, 18/08/2006Reading your article on the london lawyers fighting back, its essential that other readers like Barbera, who we at ESTA are very concerned with and others in a situation like hers, that we have met around the country local-to-local, secure their future and livelihood and preserve their good and hard earned reputation against this defamatory and unlawful campaign by Sky/FAPL/MPS.

You can find all the details you need at TPNA.CO.UK concerning the Publicans Legal Protection Program. We are not merely talking about legal representation, but a top team of criminal and civil lawyers combined with a media organisation founded in the satellite business since 1985. Every publican round the country should sign-up immediately otherwise we will not be able to entirely safeguard the whole industry, whose existence is being threatened and coming under fresh attacks from Sky.

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