The law has caught up with a trio of Scottish pubs that have been showing Sky Sports illegally.
The people running O’Kane’s in Glasgow, Fox’s Bar in Edinburgh and Cheers Bar in Cambuslang have been ordered to pay £10,000 each in damages for infringing Sky’s copyright.
They’re also having to stump up for Sky’s legal costs, and swallow their pride by funding the placement of notices advertising the rulings in The Evening Times, The Morning Advertiser and The Scottish Licensed Trade News.
“These rulings demonstrate the seriousness of this issue and through the orders to fund advertising we hope to highlight the consequences of televising Sky’s content illegally,” said George Lawson, Sky’s head of commercial piracy.
“We are committed to visiting thousands of pubs every season to monitor the games they are showing, as well as investigating suppliers to protect Sky customers who are unfairly losing business due to this illegal activity.”
Sky Sports is only available to licensed premises in Scotland via a commercial agreement from Sky, the company explained.
Sky hasn’t confirmed whether or not the pubs were pirating Sky Sports, but the company told Trusted Reviews: “We are seeing an increase in people being prosecuted who are using systems such as Kodi to access content illegally.”
It added: “We have a dedicated website, www.pubpiracy.com, where we receive tip offs from licensees and members of the public of venues who are showing Sky programming illegally. In addition to this, we conduct hundreds of mystery shops each week and the use of covert investigators.”
As the Pub Piracy website explains, legitimate Sky Business commercial subscribers receive a Sky licence to display in their window, and you’ll also be able to see a pint glass icon appear on their TV screen from time-to-time.
Earlier this week, a high-profile seller of Kodi boxes was handed a £1 fine, despite costing Sky £200,000 in lost subscriptions while simultaneously putting £38,500 in his pocket.
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