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Premier League pub landlady wins the battle but loses the war

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  • igius12
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2011
    • 179

    Premier League pub landlady wins the battle but loses the war

    A pub landlady has won the right to show English Premier League football using a foreign TV decoder.

    But the details of the European Court of Justice ruling will still make it impossible for any British pub to show a Premier League match without Sky Sports.

    Karen Murphy appealed to the ECJ after she was fined £8,000 for using a cheap Greek Nova TV decoder to show live Premier League matches in her Portsmouth pub.

    Murphy wanted to avoid both the high charges levied by Sky Sports on pubs, and the Saturday afternoon live TV football ban imposed on England by the Premier League.

    Yesterday, the ECJ ruled that national laws which ban the import, sale or use of of foreign decoders and viewing cards are contrary to the European freedom to provide services across the Union.

    Territorial copyright agreements inside the EU are also rendered invalid by the ECJ ruling, which will affect the distribution of films and other TV programmes.

    The ruling also says that live football matches are not an 'intellectual creation' or 'work', which can be protected by copyright.

    However, the Premier League's opening video sequence, the Premier League anthem, pre-recorded highlights packages and Premier League graphics are all copyrighted works - and landlords need permission to show these in public.

    This means a simple logo in the corner of the screen is all the Premier League will need to stop any pub showing its matches without breaching copyright.

    Murphy's case began in 2005, when she was prosecuted by Media Protection Services (on behalf of the Premier League) for using a £118/month Greek Nova susbcription instead of a £480/month Sky Sports subscription.

    The ECJ ruling will now be used to craft a final judgement by the High Court in London.

    It could affect several cases against landlords and equipment importers which have been on hold.