Manchester Licensee ordered to pay over £6,000 for illegal Sky use

Carolyn Caroline Dandy, the Designated Premises Supervisor and the Premises Licence Holder of The Concert Inn (3 Bolton Road, Manchester, M46 9TQ), was fined following a successful prosecution by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (‘FACT’) for showing Sky Sports programmes illegally in her premises.

On 9th September 2013, at Bolton Magistrates Court, Ms Dandy was convicted in her absence of two offences of dishonest reception of a television transmission (a Sky televised football match) at the above licensed premises without a commercial viewing agreement, contrary to Section 297 (1) of the Copyright Design and Patents Act 1988.

Ms Dandy was ordered to pay a total of £6,475 in fines and costs.

FACT conducted this prosecution as part of Sky’s on-going commitment to crack down on a minority of landlords who continue to show Sky in their pubs without the correct viewing contract. There have been more than 1,500 similar prosecutions to date and hundreds of further cases are in the pipeline.

Stephen Gerrard, Prosecuting Manager at FACT, said: “Despite clear messages and warnings, we are still finding a small number of licensees who persist in using illegal systems to show Sky broadcasts. People found to be showing Sky in commercial premises without having entered into the correct commercial subscription agreement with Sky face criminal prosecution, costs and potential loss of licence.”

Alison Dolan, Deputy Managing Director at Sky Business, said: “This case demonstrates the seriousness of this issue as courts continue to deliver considerable penalties to licensees who show Sky content illegally. Sky’s on-going support for FACT in prosecuting licensees who break the law demonstrates our commitment to protecting the interests that thousands of hardworking licensees make in Sky Sports to build their businesses and entertain their customers.”

FACT will continue to protect the intellectual property rights of its member companies. Publicans can expect to be prosecuted if they persist in breaking the law in this way. Those who are convicted can expect to face substantial fines, costs and the possibility of having their personal licences suspended or revoked.

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