Ex pub licensee fined £50,000 for screening Sky Sports illegally

Posted in Licensing | February 27, 2017 | by Dadds LLP Solicitors

A former pub licensee has been ordered to pay nearly £50,000 for illegally showing Sky Sports.

Ann Duffy, former designated premise supervisor of the Witton Arms in Witton Road near Villa Park - a pub popular with Aston Villa Football Club supporters - was found to be infringing Sky's copyright by showing Sky Sports programming illegally in the premises.

On February 16, Duffy was ordered to pay a total of £49,741 in damages, costs and interest for infringing Sky's copyright by showing Sky Sports to customers without having a valid commercial viewing agreement in place.

Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in the UK via a commercial viewing agreement directly from Sky Business. Licensees who show Sky broadcasts without a commercial viewing agreement risk similar legal action.

George Lawson, head of commercial policy at Sky, said: “Showing sports illegally creates an uneven playing field for thousands of hardworking licensees who legitimately invest in Sky Sports, which is why we are committed to protecting legitimate customers from those that threaten their businesses.

“The action clearly demonstrates that venues which choose to show Sky Sports without a valid agreement commit copyright infringement and will face legal action – and possibly hefty financial consequences as a result of their actions.”


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