A pub landlady has won her court fight with the English Premier League over using a Greek TV decoder to screen games.
Karen Murphy has paid nearly £ 8,000 in fines and costs for using the cheaper decoder in her
Portsmouth pub to bypass controls over match screening.
But she took her case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ). It found partly in her favour, and now the High Court in London has also found in her favour.
Instead of using Sky, on
which it costs £ 700 a month to see Premier League matches, she used the Greek TV station Nova, which has the rights to screen the games in Greece, and which cost her £ 800 a year.
The High Court in London on Friday ruled that Karen Murphy's appeal over using the decoder to bypass controls over match screening must be allowed.
The ECJ said last autumn that national laws that prohibit the import, sale or use of foreign
decoder cards were contrary to the freedom to provide services.
The European judges also said the Premier League could not claim copyright over Premier League matches as they could not be considered to be an author's own intellectual creation
and, therefore, to be works for the purposes of EU copyright law.
However the Premier League and co are allowed to claim copyright control over titles, logos and promotional videos etc shown around the football action. Presumably if the
Greek service relays the Premier League programme then it could effectively be banned from commercial use in pubs in just the same way as Sky's home subscriber sports channels are banned.
On the positive side it does mean that there can be no
legal issue with private householders subscribing to foreign channels as there are no commercial compexities.