The English Premier League (PL) has been granted a “live” blocking order against six UK-based internet service providers (ISPs).
The association sought a “live” order which has effect only when the PL is broadcasting a match live and only for a “short period”, namely from March 18 to May 22, 2017.
On Monday, March 13, Mr Justice Arnold of the English High Court granted the blocking order against BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media.
Arnold heard the case on Wednesday, March 8.
The PL owns the copyright to all Premier League football matches.
According to the ruling, the PL had sought an injunction against the ISPs under section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which implements article 8(3) of Directive 2001/29/EC.
Article 8(3) harmonises certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society.
The Premier League argued that the directive required the defendants to take measures to block their customers from accessing streaming services that show content that infringed the Premier League’s copyright.
In his ruling, Arnold referenced a decision he made in 2013 in FAPL v Sky.
He said: “There have been certain changes ... the value of PL’s rights has increased yet further, being licensed for £1.7 billion ($2.1 billion) annually in the UK alone”.
Arnold ruled that the order is proportionate and “does not impair the rights of the defendants to carry on business”.
“The interference is justified by a legitimate aim, namely preventing infringement of PL’s copyrights on a large scale”, he added.
A BT spokesperson told TBO: “We support the application by the Premier League to crack down on illegal streaming. The application is consistent with the recent initiatives undertaken by rights holders, government, online marketplaces and content creators to protect IP.
“Piracy is an issue that threatens the long-term interest of UK consumers, businesses and everyone earning a living from the creative sector,” they added.
A Virgin Media spokesperson added that the blocking order is "consistent with the recent initiatives undertaken by rights holders, government, online marketplaces and content creators to protect IP".
The ruling can be viewed in full here.
Premier League, BT, EE, Plusnet, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, football, sport, TV, film, copyright, copyright infringement, blocking order,