Murphy case referred to Europe

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European court Judge European union Premier league

Murphy case referred to Europe
Karen Murphy case referred to the European Court of Justice

Karen Murphy has had her case referred to the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

But Media Protection Services (MPS) has vowed to continue with prosecutions on behalf of Sky.

The second part of the Murphy case kicked off this week - hot on the heels of the decision by a High Court judge to refer the landmark battle between the Premier League and foreign satellite suppliers AV Station and QC Leisure to the European Court of Justice.

Round one went against Murphy of the Red, White & Blue in Portsmouth, who was appealing against her conviction for screening Premiership football via Greek channel Nova Supersport.

Lord Justice Stanley Burnton and Mr Justice Barling decided to refer the case to the European court.

Paul Dixon of Molesworths, Bright and Clegg said: "It will now be up to the European Court to decide between the interests of millions of EU Citizens (including those who earn their living playing in the Premier League) and the developing European audiovisual area on the one hand, and the attempts by FAPL to shore up an antiquated and damaging system of territorial restrictions on the reception of Satellite Broadcasts for their private commercial gain."

Prosecutions to continue

A Premier League spokesman said: "The Premier League looks forward to the free movement element of this case being clarified in the ECJ.

"Publicans should not see this as an indication that the use of foreign satellite equipment in the UK has been legitimised, given that the Administrative Court in its December judgment found in favour of MPS in relation to copyright law.

"Mrs Murphy's conviction has not been overturned and still stands.

"MPS will continue to investigate and take forward prosecutions in this area."

The Judges' indicated that they will hand down their detailed written judgement before the end of July.

Case history: Murphy's law

27 June'06: Acquitted by Judge Arnold as she had not received the transmission dishonestly. She had a letter from her brewery, Gales, recommending she took the Nova system.

26 Jan'07: Found guilty of two offences relating to breaching the FA Premier League's copyright at Crown Court by Judge Arnold. Fined £8,000.

15 March'07: Appeals decision in Crown Court. Conviction upheld by Judge Iain Pearson.

29 Nov'07: High Court appeal commences.

21 Dec'07: High Court judges Lord Justice Pumfrey and Mr Justice Stanley Burnton dismiss appeal.

24 Dec'07: Lord Justice Pumfrey dies

24 June'08: Murphy European hearing begins.

26 June'08: Case referred to European Court of Justice

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