At the time of writing, the whole position remains unclear concerning licensees’ use of European satellite TV decoder cards to broadcast premier league matches.
Licensees will be familiar with the case of Karen Murphy and her successful battle last year with Sky TV before the European Court of Justice over her use of a foreign decoder card.
However, it now seems that Licensees are facing a new hurdle. Whilst the football game itself may not be subject to copyright, it seems certain aspects of a premier league broadcast may well be, including the premier league logo and theme tune.
This means that Licensees broadcasting matches and indeed importers of European satellite systems may well be in breach of those copyrights. This is not something Licensees can afford to ignore as the Premier League has already indicated its intention to resume action against Licensees who use European decoder cards to show live football.
There is undoubtedly an urgent need to resolve the position in UK Law as many Licensees and their advisors are struggling to understand where they stand.
A further ruling from the High Court is due towards to the end of this month so we will keep you updated.
For further information, please contact Andrew Cochrane.