Buying a foreign decoder and watching soccer matches of domestic competitions on television is legal under community rules, according to a ruling issued this Tuesday by the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU).
The Luxembourg-based court thus ruled in favor
Of a group of UK bar owners who had been sued by the Premier League for using Greek satellite cards to broadcast English league games at a lower price. The Court goes further and considers that the exclusive sale of the rights to broadcast football country by country may be illegal.
“A licensing system for the retransmission of football matches that grants broadcasters territorial exclusivity for each Member State and that prohibits viewers from watching these broadcasts with a decoder card in the other Member States is contrary to the law of the Union,” he said in a statement.
The judges consider that this type of limitation
goes against the single European market and that, therefore, any national regulation that prohibits the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards “cannot be justified or for the purpose of protecting intellectual property rights, nor with the aim of encouraging the presence of the public in football stadiums”.
The Court points out that it is not possible to invoke copyright, as the Premier League intended, in the case of sporting events, as they cannot be considered intellectual creations.
It warns, however, that the 해외축구중계 in a bar of “protected” content – such as the video that opens the broadcasts of the Premier League or the official tune of the competition – requires authorization from the author, since in this case Yes there is copyright.
This Tuesday’s ruling, which brings together two different cases, agrees, among others, with Karen Murphy, owner of a pub in Portsmouth (United Kingdom) who battled in court the large fines she was forced to pay for broadcasting games on her establishment using a Greek decoder.