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Landlady receives support from the European Court of Justice

Napthens - October 5th 2011

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has finally handed down its decision in the Karen Murphy case and the decision has fallen in favour of the licensee.

The ECJ's decision ruled that the prohibition of the "sale or use of foreign decoder cards is contrary to the freedom to provide services and cannot be justified". Furthermore, the decision states that the Premier League is acting unlawfully in granting exclusive territorial rights to providers such as Sky. The ECJ also considered the implications surrounding copyright and it was ruled that the football matches themselves can not be copyright, only items such as anthems and credits.

The decision of the ECJ is not binding, and the High Court must now make a final ruling when they have considered the ECJ decision, but we have reached the latter stages of the case with proceedings looking very positive for licensees. However, it must be remembered that the proceedings are not yet finished and we have not got a final ruling yet .

It should also be noted that this case is based on European law and therefore does not apply to decoders from outside the Europe.

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