The licensee of a pub premises in Huddersfield, England has been fined £24,331 (US$33,498) in a criminal prosecution for airing Sky Sports without a valid licence.
Casa Events, which runs a hotel, restaurant and bar called The Casa, pled guilty to six counts of dishonest reception of a TV transmission at Kirklees Magistrates Court on Wednesday, January 10.
The prosecution was brought by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), a body representing IP owners in the UK. Sky works with FACT to protect premises which invest in Sky Sports subscriptions, by taking action against licensees who do not purchase legitimate subscriptions.
In the UK, Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises through a commercial viewing agreement.
The court heard that Casa Events showed Sky Sports football matches to customers without a valid licence to do so.
Casa Events was fined £2,500 per offence and was ordered to pay a £200 victim surcharge, as well as costs of £9,131.
Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT, said that cases such as this “send a clear warning” that premises showing Sky broadcasts without a commercial subscription face “” fines, as well as licence suspensions.
George Lawson, head of commercial piracy at Sky, added: “We take piracy very seriously and remain committed to protecting our legitimate Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.
“Those licensees who choose to televise content illegally should be aware that they are at high risk of being caught and face substantial penalties and a criminal conviction.”
A boxing fan was recently hit with an £85,000 bill after streaming a Sky pay-per-view fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko on Facebook, allowing over 4,000 people to watch it for free, TBO reported.
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