The Red White and Blue is in Portsmouth ( see here ). Hundreds of such pubs are closing each year and many are sorely in need of trade. The reasons for such closures need not concern us here. Such pubs are places where people are able to congregate, "put the world to rights", perhaps have a meal or bar snack and perhaps view a Premiership Football Match on the pub's large screen or, possibly, in 3D. To offer this facility will cost the pub a lot of money - (perhaps £1000 or more per month). It is hardly surprising therefore that some pubs have sought cheaper ways of screening matches. Karen Murphy is landlady of the Red White and Blue and, in 2006, she came up with the idea of using a Greek decoder as opposed to a decoder issued for use in the U.K. In Portsmouth Magistrates' Court, she was convicted of offences under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act 1988 s.297(1).
exclusive right to broadcast matches and exploit them economically within their respective broadcasting areas, generally the country in question. Matches are broadcast in encrypted form which has to be decoded by a country-specific decoder. Given that decoders are country-specific, charges vary from country to country. The reader will not be surprised to learn that the U.K. has one of the highest charges and Greece the lowest.
Art. 267 states:-
“The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings concerning:
a) the interpretation of the Treaties;
b) the validity and interpretation of acts of the institutions, bodies, offices or agencies of the Union.
Where such a question is raised before any court or tribunal of a Member State, that court or tribunal may, if it considers that a decision on the question is necessary to enable it to give judgment, request the Court to give a ruling thereon.
Where any such question is raised in a case pending before a court or tribunal of a Member State against whose decisions there is no judicial remedy under national law, that court or tribunal shall bring the matter before the Court.
If such a question is raised in a case pending before a court or tribunal of a Member State with regard to a person in custody, the Court of Justice of the European Union shall act with the minimum of delay."
Out-Law - 3rd February 2011
The Publican - 6th October 2010 - "EU governments give evidence in Murphy satellite case"
The Guardian 3rd February - "Pub landlady's EU case paves way for Premier League rights revolution"
The Telegraph 3rd February - "Pub landlady's European case threatens to scupper Premier League's £1.78 billion TV deal."
UK Free.TV - "Karen Murphy scores against the Premier League and Sky."
Sport Business - "Premier League criticises Advocate-General's legal 'opinion'
Addendum 6th February 2011: There is some well presented analysis of the commercial issues underlying this case in "EC official's court advice in TV rights case worries Premier League" - Owen Gibson, The Guardian 3rd February. There is no doubt that the "country-by-country" business model is enabling, for purely commercial reasons, the maximum value to be extracted from each country.