Two pubs have been ordered to pay in excess of £30,000 in fines and costs after they were caught screening Sky programmes illegally.
The Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) has again warned publicans against screening programmes without a commercial agreement following the latest court actions.
Fredrick Young of the Rose Inn in Shenfield, Essex, had his appeal dismissed and was ordered to pay a total of £21,648 in fines and costs. He was also warned that he would face nine months imprisonment should the total amount of fines and costs not be paid within six months.
Meanwhile Ishil Bursuk of the Black Horse in Enfield, Middlesex, was convicted following a successful prosecution by FACT for showing Sky Sports programmes illegally in her premises and was ordered to pay a total of £11,130.50 in fines and costs.
FACT conducted the prosecutions as part of Sky's ongoing commitment to crack down on landlords showing Sky content in their pubs without the correct commercial contract. There have been more than 1,500 similar prosecutions to date, with hundreds of additional cases in the pipeline.
Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT, commented: "Our aim is to create an effective deterrent to publicans who endeavour to fraudulently show Sky programmes on their premises. As numerous cases have shown, we successfully pursue and prosecute dishonest licensees, who are then faced with substantial fines, costs and a criminal record."
A spokesperson for Sky added: "These cases demonstrate the seriousness of this issue, as courts continue to deliver considerable penalties to licensees who televise Sky content illegally. Sky's on-going support for FACT in prosecuting licensees who break the law demonstrates our commitment to protecting the interests of our legitimate subscribers."
By Kerstin Kühn
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