The UK High Court has this morning ruled in favour of pub landlady Karen Murphy, quashing an earlier conviction relating to her use of foreign decoders to broadcast live Premier League matches in her pub.
This latest ruling comes after Murphy took her case to the European Court of Justice, claiming that she had the right to use a decoder from Greek broadcaster Nova, for which she paid £800 (€944) per year, to screen the matches. The ECJ ruled partly in favour of Murphy on various issues of law, stating that national laws that prohibit the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards were contrary to the freedom to provide services. The court also said that the Premier League could not claim copyright over its matches, but it did concede that surrounding media including logos, pre-recorded video sequences and the Premier League anthem were protected by copyright.
Murphy has spent six years fighting a prosecution for showing live matches at her pub in Portsmouth without paying the £700 monthly subscription to UK rightsholder BSkyB. The High Court today ruled that her appeal over the use of a foreign decoder must stand, but the judge said other complex issues surrounding the legality of screening matches would be decided at a later date.