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EU ruling victory for pub landlady

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Summary of story from Reuters, October 4, 2011

In a landmark ruling the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has opened the floodgates for sports fans to watch live matches via foreign TV services.

The court ruled that the sale of rights on a country-by-country basis breached EU law. This will also have huge ramifications for the way rights are sold.

The case was sparked by English pub landlady Karen Murphy who was fined for screening live English Premier League matches via a Greek pay-TV decoder.

Ms Murphy said she had pursued the case because there was no choice in Britain over how to secure live Premier League matches.

But it may be complicated for pubs and clubs, which it said have to consider copyright law to use foreign pay-TV cards.

The Premier League does not own the copyright to matches but it does own copyright to the graphics, anthem and video clips that run before games.

BSkyB owns nearly all the live rights to broadcast English Premier League soccer and the League has been keen to clamp down on the numerous pubs around Britain which show matches via foreign services instead.

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