Four licensees ordered to pay £93,000 for Sky Sports copyright infringement

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Illegal broadcasts: four licensees were found to be infringing Sky's copyright
Illegal broadcasts: four licensees were found to be infringing Sky's copyright

Related tags Sky sports Copyright infringement Copyright Sky

Following successful legal action by Sky, four licensees have been found to be infringing Sky's copyright by showing Sky Sports without having the required commercial agreements.

Martin Adamson, licensee of the Bay Horse Hotel, Leeds; Kathleen Jones, licensee of Junction Hotel, Pontefract; Mary Sherwin, licensee of the Bridge, South Shields; and Domineque Toulson, licensee of the Nags Head, Manchester; were each ordered to pay damages following proceedings in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court.

The collective damages ordered totalled more than £93,000 with Toulson required to pay the highest sum of £28,988, while Adamson, Sherwin and Shields will pay £26,495, £19,239 and £18,889 respectively. All four will also pay 2% per annum on the amount owed.

'Damaging to the industry'

Sky’s head of commercial piracy George Lawson said: “Orders like these demonstrate the seriousness of screening Sky Sports without the required commercial licenses. It is damaging to the industry and those licensees who choose to show content in this way should be aware that they are at a high risk of being caught and facing substantial penalties. 

"Our customers are very important to us and we will not hesitate in taking action against pubs that continue to screen Sky Sports fraudulently, ensuring that the thousands of the law-abiding pubs and clubs who pay for legitimate commercial Sky subscriptions are not short-changed.”

These successful cases come off the back of Sky’s instruction of Russell-Cooke LLP and are integral to Sky’s commitment to protect pubs that invest in legitimate subscriptions – which includes visiting more than 700 UK pubs a week throughout the football season.

The news comes after Sky was awarded the broadcasting rights to 128 games per Premier League season as of the 2019-20 season – an increase of two matches per season.​ 

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