Sky applies to give evidence in foreign sat saga

By MA Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, High court

Sky wants to have its say in the ECJ
Sky wants to have its say in the ECJ
UEFA and broadcasters including Sky and Setanta have asked the High Court for permission to give evidence in the landmark foreign satellite case set...

UEFA and broadcasters including Sky and Setanta have asked the High Court for permission to give evidence in the landmark foreign satellite case set for the European Court of Justice.

European football's governing body and broadcasters Sky, Setanta, Canal Plus and the Motion Picture Association want to have their say in the case against foreign satellite suppliers AV Station and QC Leisure.

The Premier League, which is spearheading the case, had been seeking a ban on importing, selling, hiring, advertising, installing and maintaining decoders but the High Court referred the case to Europe in June.

The defendants denied breaking copyright law and claim that the attempt to stop them selling the decoder cards is in breach of the EC Treaty, which guarantees the right of free trade between member states.

The Judge at the time said: "There can be no doubt that recent years have seen a proliferation of encrypted television channels which are accessible only on payment of a fee. Yet the broadcasting organisations responsible for the transmissions are often prohibited from permitting viewers in other Member States to access the encrypted programming; and this is so even when such viewers are prepared to make the requisite payment.

"This prohibition stems from the desire of rightholders to extract what they perceive to be the fair remuneration to which they are entitled. However, it creates a tension with the concept of a Community audiovisual area and the principles of an internal market without frontiers, and it is this tension which is reflected in the multitude of claims and defences deployed in this case."

The judge is expected to reserve his decision on whether UEFA and the broadcasters can intervene in the case.

Related topics: Licensing law, Sport

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