A spokeswoman for BSkyB told SLTN the company “[has] been and continues to pursue a number of copyright actions in Scotland”, and the Premier League confirmed that its ‘investigations agency’ is visiting Scottish outlets, while it pursues around 100 pubs in England and Wales over copyright infringement.
The last high profile Sky/Premier League copyright case in Scotland was against the Old College Bar in Glasgow late last year.
In that case the licensee was ordered to pay damages of £10,000 plus Sky’s legal costs.
More recently, the organisations recorded court victories in Staffordshire and Merseyside.
In Staffordshire, the premises supervisor of the Jubilee Inn was fined £6878 by Stafford Magistrates Court for screening Sky programming without a valid subscription, after action was pursued by the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
And in Merseyside, the publican at the Shillings Bar in Wirral has been ordered to pay over £19,000 in fines and costs after the Crown Court dismissed his appeal against an earlier copyright conviction.
“Despite clear messages and warnings, we are still finding a small number of licensees who persist in using illegal systems to show Sky broadcasts,” said Stephen Gerrard, prosecuting manager at FACT.
“People found to be showing Sky in commercial premises without having entered into the correct commercial subscription agreement with Sky face criminal prosecution.”
Alison Dolan, deputy managing director at Sky Business, said the ongoing legal action “demonstrates the seriousness of this issue as courts continue to deliver considerable penalties to licensees who televise Sky content illegally”.
“Sky will continue to support FACT in prosecuting those licensees who choose to break the law to protect the interests of law-abiding pubs who invest in Sky Sports to build their businesses and entertain their customers,” said Dolan.