The Premier League has said it will resume action against pubs and bars that screen Premiership football via foreign satellite systems within the European Economic Area. It follows a new High Court ruling in which Lord Justice Kitchin said those importing foreign satellite equipment had breached the Premier League’s copyright in certain areas, such as by broadcasting the Premier League anthem. However, the judge also said the Premier League had proved claims that its copyright had been breached to just a “limited extent”, and foreign satellite suppliers should be able to “carry on their business in a way which avoids infringement of FAPL [the FA Premier League’s] copyrights if they are able to do so”. Following the ruling today. a Premier League spokesman said: “It is clear that the law gives us the right to prevent the unauthorised use of our copyrights in pubs and clubs when they are communicated to the public without our authority. “We will now resume actions against publicans who are using European Economic Area foreign satellite systems to show Premier League football on their premises unlawfully and without our authority.” The ruling, between the Premier League and foreign satellite suppliers QC Leisure and AV Station among others, followed the judgement from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) last October in which ECJ ruled largely in favour of Portsmouth licensee Karen Murphy in her long running battle with the Premier League over use of a Greek satellite system at her pub. The ECJ said that restricting the sale of European foreign satellite decoder cards is “contrary to the freedom to provide services”. The Premier League spokesman added: “There are other elements of the ECJ ruling which we believe are applicable under UK law and we will continue to explore these to protect our rights via the courts and other legal means.” A hearing on 24 February is set to examine how the ECJ ruling can be applied in Murphy’s appeal.

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