Licensee to pay over £6k for illegal Sky use

By Gurjit Degun

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Criminal law

Football: a licensee has been found guilty of illegally showing Sky Sports in his pub
Football: a licensee has been found guilty of illegally showing Sky Sports in his pub
A licensee has been ordered to pay £6,301.50 in fines and costs after illegally showing Sky Sports programmes in his pub.

Stephen Simpson, the designated premises supervisor at the Queen Victoria in Liverpool, was fined following prosecution by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

Simpson was found guilty at trial at Liverpool Magistrates Court yesterday. He was convicted of five offences of "dishonest reception of a television transmission (a Sky televised football match) without a commercial viewing agreement, contrary to Section 297 (1) of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988".

Sky said the prosecution is part of its on-going commitment to crack down on a “minority of landlords who continue to show Sky in their pubs without the correct viewing contract”.

FACT said that there have been more than 1,500 similar prosecutions to date, with hundreds more in the pipeline.

'Substantial fines'

It warned: “FACT will continue to protect the intellectual property rights of its member companies. Publicans can expect to be prosecuted if they persist in breaking the law in this way. Those that are convicted can expect to face substantial fines, costs and the possibility of having their personal licences suspended or revoked.”

Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT, said: “Our aim is to help create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavour to fraudulently show Sky content on their premises. As numerous cases have shown, we successfully pursue and prosecute dishonest licensees who are then faced with substantial fines, costs and a criminal record.”

George Lawson, head of commercial operations at Sky Business, added: “This case demonstrates the seriousness of this issue as courts continue to deliver considerable penalties to licensees who televise Sky content illegally.

“Sky’s on-going support for FACT in prosecuting licensees who break the law demonstrates our commitment to protecting the interests that thousands of hardworking licensees make in Sky Sports to build their businesses and entertain their customers.”

Related topics: Legislation

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