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back to article Pub landlady's footie sat-TV battle moves law's goal posts

The pub landlady who was fined for screening FA Premier League (FAPL) football matches using a foreign satellite decoder has had her criminal conviction overturned by the High Court. The court said that Karen Murphy had been wrongly found guilty of violating UK copyright laws. This is because Murphy had paid for a service …

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Alert

Easy protection mechanism

Cue FAPL inserting graphics all over the place to prevent easy removal. Perhaps some overlaid adverts in the centre circle and goalkeeper boxes.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Easy protection mechanism FAP FAP FAP FAP FAP NT

NT

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Pirate

Everything?

The foreign decoder manufacturer had presumably paid for the right to decode the broadcast, no? Complete with logos, anthems, extras and commentary? Granted, they bought the rights to the broadcast for showing in Greece (or wherever she got the decoder from), but they did buy the rights to the *entire* broadcast, not just the action on the field.

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Re: Everything?

Exactly. To me these judgements are at odds. From one aspect they cannot restrain the broadcaster's right to sell their services throughout the EU and they have sold them the rights to use their logos etc in supplying them the live feed and using them within it. So you cannot have exclusive locks on the content but you can on a logo used in the content. Sorry, but that's just 'king stupid.

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Re: Everything?

Not that I agree with any of this stupidity* but:

If you have two cameras, one operated by the (say) BBC and the other by (say) SKY, both capturing the same 'action' on the field you can see where this legal distinction is coming from.

The BBC feed, free of logos and other branding can be sent out to all and sundry and no-one has to pay to be a fan.

The Sky camera puts loads of logos, advertising, commentary and other value added (!) services to the event.

The Sky feed is 'theirs' so they can say who sees it and how much to charge. The BBC feed is harder to brand since there are no logos or other identifying stuff to get in the way.

ttfn

*if the broadcasters were interested in pleasing fans then they should make viewing the sport easier, not harder and more expensive

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Pint

Shirley...

If FAPL are putting in logos etc. that they are then giving to foreign companies to air, they are implicitly giving the right to show those logos... If it is illegal for those foreign companies to show those logos, the FAPL must be required to remove them, before they are sent to those foreign companies.

If the FAPL are being paid for the rights to show the match inside the EU, then they are getting their money anyway, so they should quit complaining.

Beer: because it fits to the story. Cheers my dears!

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Headmaster

Re: Everything?

Does anyone, in spoken English, actually terminate a question with 'no', or is this just some new silly fad?

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Blurring stickers

Most logos appear on the same place. So simply place some (screen safe) blurring plastic/stickers at strategic points, and change screen to another channel at strategic points.

That all said, the artificial barriers to free-trade put in place by the media companies are ludicrous and should be stamped out. DVD region encoding all need to go (keep the language sets though, that's sensible).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Blurring stickers

What the person above said about free trade. Be interesting to see how far that latest (and rather ludicrous IMO) corporation-friendly interpretation of the law by UK courts will get in the ECJ.

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Anonymous Coward

Its all about money, Innit?

All they are trying to protect is Ripoff Britain prices to UK subscribers!

Bastards all!

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Re: Its all about money, Innit?

s/before he becomes/and/g

Regex to fix above post :-)

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Protection?

The purpose of copyright on the logos and 'anthem' is to prevent me (and anyone else) using it in my own production. To have the logos seen and the anthem heard by a group of people in a pub is not damaging to the holders of the copyright since it is a 'genuine' production.

The purpose of the logo and anthem is to identify the source or owner of the content to the audience, which it accurately does; so what is the (legal) problem?

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Re: Protection?

Especially if you paid for the service like the landlady did.

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Facepalm

Re: Protection?

This is basically what I was coming on here to say. The production has the copyrights, the service has paid for the rights to show said production, the landlady/lord is paying for the service.

There is no copyright infringment going on and I fail to see where it is. Perhaps someone can explain it better?

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Quite

I don't really get the copyright argument either. Does this mean that ANYONE watching the match at home is in breach of copyright? It doesn't make sense. As has been stated, the idea of logos is to prevent copying and re-selling of the material for profit. But one would think that paying the broadcaster (whoever that may be) for the right to receive and decode the material would, by definition, also buy you the right to actually watch the program as well, including the right to view any associated bits of it which may happen to have some copyright attached.

It's a bit like buying a car and then being told that you can't drive round displaying the manufacturers name that's been stuck on the back; it makes no sense.

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Re: Quite

If this madness really is as it seams then I'm apparently breaching copyright every time I watch an advert on ITV.

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Re: Protection?

The logos and anthem are part of the branding of the service which is considered (rightly or wrongly) an asset that adds value (credibility, gravitas, etc) to the service.

A provider who illegally applies branding to a service which isn't their own may be in breach of copyright because they use the legal owner's branding to add that value to their alternative service.

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Mushroom

Re: Quite

I don't really get the copyright argument either.

But one would think that paying the broadcaster for the right to receive and decode the material would also buy you the right to actually watch the program as well

You are right, you would think that paying for a product of the copyright mafiaa would entitle you to watch/listen to that product.

Karen Murphy didn’t do any thing wrong, she legally bought a product from a Greek service provider. However as this would break Sky’s monopoly in the UK the copyright mafiaa have to resort to other slights of hand to maintain their monopoly position.

EU law prohibits the setting up of these monopolistic regimes as we are supposed to a open common market. The copyright mafiaa are abusing the copyright laws to maintain the monopolistic empires

I think what is happening here is that Nova is broadcasting a legally acquired piece of music that is copyrighted for broadcast in Greece, Sky may be broadcasting exactly the same piece of music except that they acquired that piece of music in the UK and it therefore has a UK copyright notice attached to it.

However this situation is similar to the issue of grey imports to the EU, when CDNOW were buying CD on the far east market, . The copyright mafiaa manufacture a product where the labour costs are lowest, but by attaching different copyright notices to the product they are able to charge more for it in Europe than they can in the far east.

It’s an abuse of copyright law, it’s price gouging and anti-consumer, but as long as there are twats in government that are prepared to accept the benefits of the copyright mafiaa’s “lobbying” we are going to continue to have these artificially restrictive laws that drive up the price of a product for the consumer. It’s no wonder that people have no reservations about downloading copyright material from the internet

Icon, the flames of hell where these copyright mafiaa bastards deserve to burn for all eternity.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Protection?

I wouldn't try that argument in court mate.

If someone hasn't paid for the rights to the transmission, you don't have a right to see it. Fair simply to understand that.

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Vic
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Re: Quite

> Does this mean that ANYONE watching the match at home is in breach of copyright?

If you are doing so without a licence to those copyrighted materials, then yes, you are.

If you have bought a subscription from your friendly local satellite operator[1], then you have that licence.

But each operator only has the capability to sublicence within their own territory; thus if you buy a Nova subscription, you are only licenced within Greece.

It's all a bit silly, really, but the alternative - a copyright licence that cannot attach any conditions - is very much worse. I think we're stuck with this unless someone puts in some specific legislation. That won't happen.

Vic.

[1] Ha!

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FAIL

"provided from a place in the United Kingdom"

They're provided from space, the word 'Satellite' is the clue here. Or are they saying they're provided from the football ground, perhaps.

Seriously though, how many subscriptions' value were burnt in that ridiculous court case just to try and get a few hundred quid out of a pub?

Nose, Face, Spite.

GreedFail

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Anonymous Coward

Does it mean......

That as an individual, I can buy/subscribe the cheapest decoder with card in the EU and see all the action at home?

Since Im not using it commercially??

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Go

Re: Does it mean......

Good call!

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IANAL but I believe so

There is a distinction in that you would not be using the service for commercial purposes. I also don't believe it could be considered a 'public performance' even if you had some pals round. It's not clear if the licence that Karen Murphy was a commercial one (or if it had to be) but I would guess so. Many people (particularly international diaspora) have been using these services in their own homes for years so I don't think there is anything amiss. However the savings are probably not significant (if there are any) for a private home and it also depends whether you want to watch football with a foreign commentary?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IANAL but I believe so

It is considered a "public performance" if anyone is present who is not normally resident in your home. The same actually applies to Freeview TV, radio or even playing CDs.

Obviously nobody is going to do anything about you playing free-to-air stuff/CDs to guests in your home.

I wouldn't be so sure about pay TV though - hard to see how you'd get "caught" but I'm pretty certain that if you did then you'd get a solicitors letter demanding a few hundred quid.

The UK has bizarre copyright laws, still I suppose the parasites (solicitors) have to eat too.

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Re: IANAL but I believe so

"It is considered a "public performance" if anyone is present who is not normally resident in your home"

Citation required.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Does it mean......

You don't even need to buy anything... F1 is on RTL channel just key in the channel Number.

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Childcatcher

Re: Does it mean......

Apparently so

Sky have forced a similar issue onto F1 fans who have been buying up RTL and German sat boxes so that they can still see the live races. Commentary provided by the BBC via 5 Live

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Re: IANAL but I believe so

Think he may be right!

"The permission that comes with every music CD only gives the purchaser the right to play that recording in a domestic environment, in other words the immediate family. Performance to any other grouping is regarded as "public performance" and this applies even where the group meets in a private house."

http://www.thefrms.co.uk/copyright.htm

This article may apply to CDs but I think the principle derives from the CDPA generically. Of course, from memory, the Champions League vignettes and various adverts show groups of friends gathering round television sets to watch games but I'm sure that the home-owner has dutifully applied and paid for a PPL!

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Coat

Re: IANAL but I believe so

"it also depends whether you want to watch football with a foreign commentary"

Anything that makes it remotely interesting to watch would be good for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IANAL but I believe so

Does the above quotation come by any chance from the website of "The Federation of Recorded Music Societies" (whoever the fuck they might be)? Are you implying that the above website is in any way authoritative in matters of law? (or in matters of website design while we're at it. It says "founded 1936", and clearly that's when their web was last updated, but I digress)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: IANAL but I believe so

As the other A/C said, are you really citing the "Federation of Recorded Music Societies" FAQ section... a society which just happens to benefit from increased membership?

It'd be like the government taking advice on a whole range of issues from people who have a vested interest in that issue... thankfully that doesn't happen or we'd be in real trouble! :)

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Re: Does it mean......

...and you don't even need a "German" decoder.....just point your sat dish at Astra 19.2E or go to thr RTL website to get it streamed live

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Re: IANAL but I believe so

"are you really citing the "Federation of Recorded Music Societies" FAQ section"

Sure, I Googled for a while but couldn't find many citations covering these points. As has been mentioned here, the UK has some fucked up IP law. It's still illegal to copy CDs to your PC for example! The PRS pursue workplace canteens to buy licences for their radios! Copyright extends much further than most people think and I wouldn't be at all surprised if you weren't strictly entitled to watch television or listen to CDs in your own home if you are in the presence of visitors. If you think this is bullshit then cite something to prove otherwise!

I'm no paytard, far from it, just interested in the implications here.

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FAIL

Simple laws

I lost the will to live halfway though the article. These laws need to be simplified so the ordinary man in the street who might run a pub can know what is legal, and what isn't.

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Meh

Football isnt needed in a pub.

I know a lot of people, myself included that actually look for pubs that DON'T show football.

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Re: Football isnt needed in a pub.

Me too.

Except when there's a match I want to watch that I can't attend in person, on which occasions I am glad there's a choice.

If only there was a way of avoiding the moaning bastards who grumble away about every little thing a landlord might to to try and earn enough money to stay afloat.

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Re: Football isnt needed in a pub.

Whilst I can sympathise with that. I often wonder with how much it actually costs a pub to show Sky Football whether it does actually help them stay in business.

Daylight robbery springs to mind.

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Re: Football isnt needed in a pub.

That's another matter, of course and very relevant to the case being discussed.

Sky have clearly pushed prices to the point where potentially illegal action is considered worth the risk and in a sane world this ought to make them reconsider. They have clearly decided that legal enforcement of the current pricing is the profitable way to go however.

I'm not a fan of that company.

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Holmes

Re: Football isnt needed in a pub.

Well you do have a choice. You can look for pubs that don't show footy whilst others can find pubs that do show it. Unlike some other aspect of pubs where no one has a choice - that of smoking. Why can't some pub allow smoking and others ban it. It's up to them to decide which kind of customer they want to maximise their profits.

Sherlock, because you don't need to be him to realise that, and he's smoking.

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FAIL

Re: Football isnt needed in a pub.

maybe, just maybe...

Me watching football while you stand next to me cannot be a direct cause of you getting a fatal disease

You smoking next to me can be a direct cause of me getting a fatal disease.

cue the argument, don't go to that pub then....

What about bar staff that need the job but don't want to die of lung cancer?

Seriously a lot of smokers really are selfish bastards.

How about this argument, I like punching people, it's my choice to do it, if you don't like getting punched don't stand near me?

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Seems that as always they sued the wrong person

Sky paid the FA for "exclusive" UK rights to FA generated content, yes?

Seems to me that Sky should have sued the FA for allowing the FA-generated content to be available by means other than Sky, rather than the little guy who made use - legally - of those other means. Ie. it's the FA that leaked the data by selling it to other broadcasters too. If those *broadcasters* didn't make their forwarding of the content limited in scope, then it's the FA's problem - but of course they don't care - so it's up to Sky to make them care by suing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems that as always they sued the wrong person

But the FA can afford a bunch of lawyers. Little people can't and are generally easier targets.

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Re: Seems that as always they sued the wrong person

I think the real problem is that the FA (or the Premier League, I'm not familiar with the franchising agreements) sold Sky something that didn't actually exist.

As I understand it the ECJ has ruled (quite sensibly) that you can't prevent goods and services legitimately offered in one country with the area covered by the Single Market being bought, consumed, and used in other countries within the Single Market (I'm thinking that there's probably a clue in the name here...) and as such there are no exclusive UK rights to sell...

I'm sure a workaround will be found somehow. Which is a shame, as there are few things I'd find more amusing and satisfying than watching Murdochvision and the Premer League thrashing frantically around for someone, anyone to drag into court before eventually and inevitably turning on each other against a background of insolvent premier league football clubs burning to the ground across the country. :-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems that as always they sued the wrong person

In fact, this landlord/lady seems to have put up a rather impressive fight for a private person. I don't watch football or frequent pubs, but I think I would go and buy a drink or two on this one if anyone cared to post its details.

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Pint

Re: Seems that as always they sued the wrong person

The "Red, White & Blue" pub

150 Fawcett Road, Southsea, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO4 0DW

http://www.beerintheevening.com/pubs/s/29/2945/Red_White_and_Blue/Southsea

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Anonymous Coward

if media companies could turn back time...

They would be prosecuting people for LISTENING to pirate radio - in effect this is what they tried to do here. Totally absurd.

Glad to see the prosecution quashed.

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Anonymous Coward

"prosecuting people for LISTENING to pirate radio"

The law already exists in the UK:

Marine Offences (Broadcasting) Act, 1967.

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