"A pub landlady has won her court fight with the English Premier League over using a Greek TV decoder to screen games. Karen Murphy has paid nearly £8,000 in fines and costs for using the cheaper decoder in her Portsmouth pub to bypass controls over match screening. But she took her case to the European Court of Justice (ECJ: on which see the IPKat here).This Kat was most impressed with Karen Murphy's ability to discuss and explain the legal and factual background of the case as well as the effect of today's ruling. Indeed, her explanation compared favourably with that of most of the law students which he has had the pleasure of teaching in the past. But then, that's only to be expected. Everyone knows that English law students learn more in the friendly environment of a pub than they do from lectures, and Karen Murphy has spent far more time in bars than they have ...
It found partly in her favour, and now the High Court in London has also found in her favour.
The case has been closely watched [not by TV viewers, alas] as it could trigger a major shake-up in the way football TV rights are sold, and potentially pave the way to cheaper viewing of foreign broadcasts for fans of top-flight English games.
Ms Murphy has spent six years fighting a prosecution for showing live football at the Red White and Blue pub without a Sky subscription. Instead of using Sky, on which it costs £700 a month to see Premier League matches, she used the Greek TV station Nova, which has the rights to screen the games in Greece, and which cost her £800 a year.
She took her fight for the right to use the cheaper provider to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which ruled in October 2011 that having an exclusive system was "contrary to EU law".
The High Court in London on Friday [in a judgment not available on BAILII at the time of posting this blog] ruled that Karen Murphy's appeal over using the decoder to bypass controls over match screening must be allowed.
But a judge made clear that the other complex issues regarding the wider legality of screening matches would have to be decided "at a later date". ...".
Friday, 24 February 2012
announcement that she has now obtained a court ruling in her favour. According to the BBC website: