Business operators should not be tempted to use a Sky domestic card to screen events in their business premises. Not only are they committing a criminal offence but they could risk losing their business.
Recently a Bridgend pub landlady found herself with a criminal record and a hefty liability of nearly £7000 in fines and costs for 3 offences of screening Premiership football using her domestic Sky card, but she also had her Personal Licence
revoked by the sentencing magistrates. Whilst this would not prevent her from carrying on business under a Premises Licence
, she would need another Personal Licence holder working on the premises before she could sell any alcohol, and if she was the Designated Premises Supervisor
she would automatically lose that position, and again no alcohol could be sold until another Personal Licence holder has been appointed to be the DPS.
FACTS (Federation Against Copyright Theft) are rigorously prosecuting under the Copyright Designs and patents Act with a maximum fine of £5000 for each offence. FACTS have brought over 900 prosecutions. The going rate of fines is approximately £1500 per offence and costs of at least £2000 are likely to be imposed. In one case an operator was ordered to pay over £20000 in fines and costs. In today’s credit crunch market few operators can afford to suffer such a fate. If you want to show Sky you must obtain a Non-Domestic Viewing Agreement.
I have over 30 years experience in licensing law
and have advised on prosecutions by FACT. If you have any questions or need legal advice or assistance please contact me. Nigel Musgrove
Licensing Law Specialist
This blog is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is it intended to be a complete and authoritative statement of the law, and what we say might be out of date by the time you read it. You should always seek legal advice to confirm whether or how any information in this article applies to your particular situation. We offer a free telephone consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.