Following a successful prosecution by The Federation Against Copyright Theft (‘FACT’), the licensee of The Acorn on Queensbridge Road in East London has been convicted and fined for showing Sky Sports illegally in her premises.
Patricia Lahoud, the Designated Premises Supervisor and joint Licence Holder of The Acorn was found guilty after trial at Stratford Magistrates Court of four offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission (a Sky televised football match) at the above licensed premises without a commercial viewing agreement with the intent to avoid payment of the applicable charge – contrary to Section 297 (1) of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988. In addition to receiving a criminal conviction, Ms Lahoud was ordered to pay a total of £5,615 in fines and costs.
Stephen Gerrard, Prosecuting Manager, FACT, said: “This is a serious issue – licensees, employees and associated companies can each face fines of up to £5,000 for every offence they commit, or each match that they show. On top of this, 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 – it simply isn’t worth the risk.”
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 has already made arrangements to visit more than 700 pubs each week in towns and cities across the UK this season.
Alison Dolan, Deputy Managing Director, Sky Business, said: “It’s important to us that businesses are aware of the consequences of copyright infringement – it creates an uneven playing field for thousands of hardworking licensees who legitimately invest in Sky Sports, which is why we are committed to visiting thousands of pubs this season, as well as investigating suppliers and continuing to support FACT’s work to protect our legitimate Sky customers and ensure they are not left short-changed by illegal activity.”