New technology could help pubs showing football via foreign satellite "avoid copyright infringement"

By Adam Pescod

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Copyright infringement Copyright

Game on: the TV Ad Tech system could help hosts using foreign satellites
Game on: the TV Ad Tech system could help hosts using foreign satellites
A system that replaces on-screen TV graphics and logos with adverts “might be the way of avoiding copyright” for licensees considering using foreign satellite systems to show football in their pubs.

That is the view of legal expert Peter Coulson who appeared to partially endorse claims made by systems supplier TV Ad Tech​, but added that he could not yet provide definitive advice on the matter.

It comes following the recent judgements in the QC Leisure and Karen Murphy cases, which ruled on use of foreign satellite feeds, and specifically the issue of copyright in the QC Leisure case. Lord Justice Kitchin said those importing foreign satellite equipment had breached the Premier League’s copyright in certain areas, such as broadcasting the Premier League logo and anthem.

The TV Ad Tech system detects features such as graphics and logos in video signals and replaces them with advertising material.

Richard Konig, director of TV Ad Tech, said: “We have been testing this for the past couple of weeks and, as far as we can see, it would put those pubs that use foreign satellite in a position where they can carry on showing football without breaching the Premier League’s copyright.

“People have been asking us about this for a number of years now and for many reasons, mainly because they want to get their own promotions on screens during advertisement breaks.”

Commenting on the TV Ad Tech system, Coulson said: “It does appear this might be the way forward. It might be the way of avoiding copyright infringement. This is an interesting development. No-one can be definitive on this, though, as it is too early to tell.”

Daniel Geey, associate for legal firm Field Fisher Waterhouse, admitted that the system could present a “short-term (riskier) fix”, but added that “it still needs to be assessed by the court what the actual infringing (copyrighted) material is”.

A Sky spokeswoman said: “We would advise licensees to seek appropriate legal advice before using any device that claims to help avoid infringing copyright.

“Licensees should consider carefully whether they are putting themselves at risk of criminal and/or civil action being taken against them.”

Related topics Licensing law Legislation

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