COPYRIGHT / COMPETITION
Television, internet

Murphy v Media Protection Services Ltd [ 2007] EWHC 3091 (Admin)

The High Court have now made an ‘interim judgment’ in the dispute between UK broadcaster BSkyB and publican Karen Murphy over the latter’s right to show live UK football matches to her customers in the Red, White and Blue pub ( right), Southsea, via Greek station Nova for just £800 a year, instead of paying substantially more for a licence from BSkyB. Lord Justice Pumfrey and Mr Justice Stanley Burnton) dismissed her appeal based on domestic law. Giving judgment, Pumfrey LJ is quoted as saying that BSkyB had the exclusive right to screen or broadcast the matches in question in the UK and it was “apparent” Ms Murphy knew that was the case. However, the court had not heard arguments about whether European competition and free movement legislation might affect the case: “So far as the competition law case is concerned, we do not at present follow how it is to be developed, and this appeal must therefore be restored for these points to be argued if that is what the appellant wants”.

The court granted Ms Murphy permission to reopen the appeal at a one-day hearing in January. Several companies install foreign satellite equipment in pubs in the UK, including Digital Sales, run by Joe Ibrahim. He maintains that the ruling was unfair and inconsistent with copyright rules that covered other products: “If what we’re doing is illegal, then it will stop people bringing European cars into Britain and if you buy a DVD in Europe and have it shipped to you in Britain then that will be deemed illegal too”.

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7155939.stm

see the judgment at http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2007/3091.html

And see the article on this site written in march 2007 (March 2007 updates) ARTICLE Does Sky have an enforceable a monopoly on live premiership football in the UK?
FACT v Gannon, MPS v Murphy