MPS v Murphy: The legality of pubs using foreign satellite signal goes to the High Court

May 2007


Karen Murphy was convicted under s297(1) of the Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988 for showing Premiere League football matches in her pub using a legitimate Greek satellite service, Nova The conviction was upheld at Portsmouth Crown Court but Murphy has now lodged an appeal with the High Court. The Crown Court in MPS v Murphy came to a very different decision to the Crown Court in FACT v Gannon on the same basic facts meaning it will be up to the High Court to decide whether or not the section in question is relevant for prosecution. The case has also thrown up the interesting fact that whilst Sky is taking action against UK landlords and licensees using the Nova signal to protect its UK market, Sky’s ‘UK’ signal is of course picked in numerous pubs and bars in Spain, Portugal and France and used in competition to official broadcasters in those territories who have licensed English Premiership football for their countries from the FAPL (the UK premiership rights licensing body). So in a world of ‘Television Without Frontiers’ the FAPL may need to look at how it licences its football matches in the future.

For the views of the Association of European Satellite Supplier & Installers see

Television Without Frontiers EU Directive 89/553/EEC ( Directive 89/552/EEC ).

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