Sky wins pay out against Glasgow bar for illegal showing of Sky Sports
Judges in the Court of Session have ruled that a bar in Glasgow must pay over £73,000 in damages, fines and legal costs after its owner showed Sky Sports illegally.
The ruling from last February found that the Avalon Bar on Kent Road was in infringement of Sky’s copyright by showing the channel without a commercial agreement.
In addition, it found licensees to be in contempt of court given as they breached an injunction Sky obtained to stop further infringements
Burness Paull secured the pay out of over £73,300 to cover damages, fines and court expenses for Sky – the largest award ever made against a pub landlord in actions of this kind in the UK.
Sky has also been awarded an “additional fee”, awarded in acknowledgement of the seriousness of the infringement and the significance of the case to Sky.
The award is anticipated to send a clear message to pub landlords across the country that there will be considerable consequences should they chose to show such events in their premises without the appropriate licence.
This latest award of expenses is in addition to previous awards made against the premise license holder (PLH) and designated premises manager (DPM) of the Avalon bar which include:
· A court order preventing further infringement of Sky’s copyright;
· An award of £10,000 damages in respect of the infringements which did occur;
· Court fines of £5,000 to the PLH and £2,000 to the DPM in respect of a charge of contempt of court;
· The placing of advertisement notices, funded by the PLH and DPM, advertising the court’s judgement.
Colin Hulme, partner and head of Burness Paull’s dispute resolution team (pictured) said: “The outcome of this case has set a precedent that will make others sit up and take note.
“It clearly demonstrates that venues which choose to show Sky Sports without a licence are committing copyright infringement and will face legal – and possibly hefty financial – consequences as a result of their actions.
“This is a great result for Sky. We are delighted that our work is continuing to help clients across a range of sectors and industries to protect their Intellectual Property.”
Alison Dolan, deputy managing director, Sky Business, said: “This landmark ruling demonstrates how seriously the courts treat copyright infringement and reiterates that Sky Sports can only be shown legally in pubs via a commercial agreement directly from Sky.
“Copyright infringement creates an uneven playing field for thousands of hardworking licensees who legitimately invest in Sky Sports, which is why we are committed to visiting thousands of pubs, as well as investigating suppliers, to protect our customers and ensure they are not left short-changed by illegal activity.”