Licensee 'in contempt of court' for continuing to breach Sky copyright

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Continued breach: licensee Robert Stewart also faced court action last year over copyright
Continued breach: licensee Robert Stewart also faced court action last year over copyright

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Robert Stewart of the Village Inn, Edinburgh, has been found in contempt of court and in breach of interdict (injunction) for infringing Sky’s copyright and showing Sky Sports without a commercial contract with Sky for a second occasion.

The ruling follows action in June 2016 against Stewart. He was originally ordered to pay Sky a total of £15,000 with Sky being awarded a perpetual interdict in the court session in summer 2016. This was designed to prevent Stewart from infringing Sky copyright and showing Sky programmes without the correct commercial licence.

After being found to have screened programming for a second time, Stewart has been issued with a court fine of £3,500 for interdict breach and has been ordered to pay a proportion of the costs of the action – totalling more than £25,000.

Protecting law-abiding customers

Sky head of commercial piracy George Lawson said: “It is very important to us that the thousands of pubs and clubs that pay for legitimate commercial Sky subscriptions are not being short-changed.

“As this case highlights, we remain committed to ensuring premises are adhering to copyright law, including those where interdicts have been obtained to make sure court orders are being complied with.

“If we receive evidence that court orders are being ignored, we will not hesitate in taking the necessary legal action to protect our valued, law-abiding customers."

Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement directly from Sky Business. Licensees that show Sky broadcasts without said agreement risk being subject to civil proceedings like Stewart, or even a criminal prosecution.

Sky has made arrangements to visit more than 700 pubs a week in towns and cities across the UK this season as part of a commitment to visit every licensed premises reported by publicans or organisations for illegally showing Sky.

Read The Morning Advertiser​'s feature on copyright law​ for more information.

Related topics Licensing law

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