And about time too!
(This post appeard in The Register a British online news site.) …
Originally posted by OUT-LAW.COM:
The pub landlady who was fined for screening FA Premier League (FAPL) football matches using a foreign satellite decoder has had her criminal conviction overturned by the High Court.
Karen Murphy had been wrongly convicted of violating UK copyright laws. She paid for a service offered by a foreign satellite decoder provider. Previously ordered to pay £8,000 for a breach of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act (CDPA).
However, pub landlords could still face legal action for copyright infringement as a result of the ECJ's other findings and how the High Court in the UK applied them in a separate ruling last month, a copyright law expert has said.
Murphy bought a foreign decoder to show live FAPL football matches in her pub. The subscription to the service was cheaper than the UK service operated by BSkyB. The European Courts of Justice ruled that broadcasters and other rights-holders cannot create licences for broadcasters that stop them selling their services to other EU countries.
The Premier League licensed the right to BSkyB in the UK. Murphy bought a decoder card that gave her access to Greek channel Nova's coverage of the games.
The ECJ ruled decoder devices could not be considered an "illicit device" because a directive requires EU members to "prohibit on their territory … the manufacture, import, distribution, sale, rental or possession for commercial purposes of illicit devices; the installation, maintenance or replacement for commercial purposes of an illicit device; the use of commercial communications to promote illicit devices".
In 2008 the High Court heard arguments from Murphy that she could not have had "intent to avoid payment of any charge applicable to the reception of the programme," because she had paid a charge: to Nova.
She said geographically exclusive contracts contravened EC free trade laws.
Lord Justice Burnton previously said in 2008 that if the ECJ agreed with Murphy, then there would be no offence that she would have been deemed to have committed.
The same judge has now confirmed that Murphy was wrongly convicted:
[Murphy]"had paid for her card, she had not avoided any charge applicable to its use and had not acted dishonestly. As is conceded by [Media Protection Services], it follows that [Murphy] was wrongly convicted, her appeal will be allowed and the convictions quashed."
How long would it take, do you suppose, before the gangsters who control our lives move to ambush the ruling?
Last month the High Court ruled that showing FAPL matches on screens in pubs using foreign satellite decoders would infringe the FAPL's film copyright except that landlords could rely on a specific defence under the CDPA – meaning they would not be liable for infringing the copyright in the visual elements of the film and its soundtrack, such as live commentary and crowd noise, if they did not charge customers to enter the pub to watch the games.
In avance of the ruling?
So long as they don't charge admittance fees.
No pubs charge admittance fees.
So we are a free country once more?
That defence does not apply to copyrighted sound recordings or to graphics or logos shown on the screens.
[If they] can obtain a feed of the game without broadcasters' additional material Lord Justice Kitchin said that pub landlords and foreign satellite decoder providers "must be entitled to carry on their businesses in a way which avoids infringement of FAPL's copyrights, if they are able to do so".
Kim Walker, specialist in copyright law at Pinsent Masons LLP, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said that the Murphy judgement reflected the ECJ’s ruling that pub landlords can legitimately use foreign satellite decoder cards to show FAPL games, providing they do not breach the copyright that subsists in the coverage.
“However, in practical terms, it is very difficult for landlords to show games without infringing the copyrights that are shown as part of coverage of games, such as in highlights packages, logos and graphics."
Suppliers of decoders are working on a broadcast feed that does not infringe FAPL or Sky copyrights. It will be interesting to see whether this is technically feasible and how FAPL would respond in order to protect the value of its rights,” he said.
Don't you just love it when a rich, overbearing, monopolist; running your government as its own private protection agency, gets a slap in the face?
I hope the company gets pirated to hell where it belongs.
It is the same company that kept George Bush in power with its slanted news feeds.
And the same company Tony Blair and some of the Royal Family got into bed with.
The same company that PWN5 the Metropolitan Police force.
And the same company that did all that phone hijacking.
And smashed its way through all decent privacy laws in this country.