European court rules that pubs can show live footy using foreign decoders
The Premier League and Sky have been dealt a heavy blow over the airing of coverage of their soccerball games in public places like pubs. Mostly pubs in fact. A pub landlady from Portsmouth has won the latest battle in her war against the broadcaster and the massive money-generating league over using foreign TV decoders on British soil. Helpfully, it’ll almost certainly upset Rupert Murdoch as well.
After being fined for using a Greek decoder to show live Premier League matches in her pub, Karen Murphy was fined £8,000, but took her case to the European Court of Justice. They’ve backed her and said that national legislation that blocks the use of foreign decoders could not “be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums”
The ruling will now go back to the High Court, and could well lead to the Premier League and Sky having to rework how they sell their rights. Basically, in management-speak, the ball is up in the air and no one knows what colour or shape it’ll be when it lands again.
It also means that the plethora of pubs that brazenly show live matches at 3pm on a Saturday (which is supposed to be strictly prohibited) will continue to do so until the Premier League get their act together.
One interesting loophole is that the ECJ has stated that while live matches are not protected by copyright, any surrounding media, such as any opening video sequence, the hideous Premier League ‘anthem’, pre-recorded films showing highlights of recent Premier League matches and various graphics, were "works" protected by copyright. To use any of these parts of a broadcast, a pub would need the permission of the Premier League.
Like Shaun Wright-Phillips, this one is going to run and run…