First licensee gives evidence in foreign satellite case

By James Wilmore

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Premier league, Law

The first licensee has given evidence in a High Court clash between the Premier League and foreign satellite suppliers. Tom Wallis, licensee of the...

The first licensee has given evidence in a High Court clash between the Premier League and foreign satellite suppliers.

Tom Wallis, licensee of the Oddfellows Arms, in Yorkshire said he stopped using foreign satellite equipment in his pub after receiving a letter from Media Protection Services warning him it was illegal.

He was then contacted by suppliers QC Leisure, one of the defendants, who offered him their legal defence protection plan, the court heard.

Wallis, appearing as a witness for the Premier League, said: "I did not take up the offer because it was 18 months after I started using the equipment. At the time I thought why would you need insurance when they said it's 100 per cent legal."

Wallis claimed that during a phone call from QC Leisure he was accused of being "bullied" by the Premier League into giving evidence in the High Court case.

However Martin Howe QC, representing the defendants, disputed this and claimed Wallis said he would happily be a customer of QC Leisure again if the case went in its favour.

But Wallis replied: "I did not say that, no."

Howe claimed that during the phone call Wallis had "got into a complete muddle".

The Premier League is claiming that access by pubs to live Premiership matches via foreign decoder cards is illegal under the Copyright, Designs and Patent Act.

However the defendants argue the cards can legitimately be sold under the EU's free movement of goods law.

The case continues.

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