A pub in Glasgow has been ordered by a court to pay the Football Association Premier League (Football Association) for copyright infringement, damages and costs after using foreign feeds to screen premier league football matches.
The streaming of live matches in pub has been in the news over the past few years, as several landlords have been called out for streaming live matches using foreign internet feeds or European digi-boxes which, whilst legal for individuals (following a legal dispute surrounding a pub in Portsmouth), are illegal when used in commercial premises.
The Football Association has taken legal action against numerous pubs across Scotland, reportedly sending 31 letters before action, with a stated intention to prevent deals brokered with Sky Sports and BT Sport in 2015 for coverage of top flight football matches being undermined. Sky and BT paid billions of pounds for the rights to broadcast the matches over a three year period.
Letter before action
A letter before action is a letter, usually sent by instructed lawyers, setting out what rights have and are being infringed and is intended to give the infringer a chance to resolve a dispute and cease infringement prior to formal legal action, or litigation. In the present case, the landlord did not response and in absence of any response the court made an order against them.
If you are in receipt of a letter before action and are unaware of your rights or where you stand in respect of the dispute it is always advisable to consult a solicitor at the earliest possible time in order to avoid compromising the strength of your position commercially, or to minimise exposure.
McDaniel and Co. regularly draft and respond to letters before action. If you would like more information on this or any of the other issues raised in this article please do not hesitate to contact the team at McDaniel and Co. on 0191 281 4000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org: Case Law, Copyright, News