Islington landlord ordered to pay over £4,800 for illegal Sky use

Following a successful prosecution by The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the licensee of The Halfway House Bar in Islington has been convicted and fined for showing Sky Sports illegally in the premises.

On 9th February 2015, at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court, Mr. Zohair Layada, the Designated Premise Supervisor and Premises Licence Holder of The Halfway House Bar, was convicted in his absence of three offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission (a Sky televised football match) at the above licensed premises with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge. This is contrary to Section 297 (1) of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988. In addition to receiving a criminal conviction, Mr. Layada was ordered to pay a total of £4,831.04 in fines and costs.

Stephen Gerrard, Prosecuting Manager, FACT, said: “This latest conviction demonstrates how seriously licensees and their staff should take the issue of illegally showing Sky Sports content in their premises. In addition to fines amounting up to £5,000 for every offence they commit, or each match that they show, the court can order legal costs to be paid and there is a requirement to inform the local licensing authority of the criminal offence, which can impact their license.”

This conviction was carried out by FACT on behalf of its members and forms a key part of Sky’s commitment to protecting pubs who invest in legitimate Sky Sports subscriptions. Sky is committed to visiting every licensed premise reported by other publicans and/or organisations for illegally showing Sky and is visiting more than 700 pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK this season.

Alison Dolan, Deputy Managing Director, Sky Business, said: “Licensees who break the law by showing Sky Sports illegally are putting the livelihoods of honest landlords at risk. We actively visit thousands of pubs every season to monitor the games they are showing and continue to support FACT’s work to protect hardworking Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.”

Any licensee affected by these issues can report suspected illegal broadcasting in confidence at http://business.sky.com/fighting-fraud.

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