Landlady hails TV football victory

Pub landlady Karen Murphy spoke of her joy today after defeating the Premier League in a bid to show football matches via a foreign TV decoder.





Mrs Murphy took up her battle against the league after being told she could not use a cheap foreign provider to show games at her pub, The Red White and Blue, in Portsmouth.



But the European Court of Justice said the exclusive system was "contrary to EU law", leaving Mrs Murphy thrilled.



She said: "It's been the battle of the little guy - these corporate people feel they can throw money at things and just win."







Mrs Murphy said: "My reaction is relief, excitement, I'm thrilled.



"Last night I was very anxious and I didn't sleep very well and the relief is slowly hitting me.



"It has taken rather a long time, this has been going on for six years, but obviously it's been worth it.



"It's taken quite a chunk of my life but I'm glad I took it on. It's been like Karen versus Goliath.



"I found out the judgment this morning from one of my regulars, there has been a lot of support, it's been fantastic.



"My regulars have got quite used to being filmed and they don't mind apart from some of them when they weren't meant to be here - they are all football fans."



Mrs Murphy said she took on the battle because she could not afford the subscription fees.



She said: "I am sure the likes of the FA and Sky will do anything to protect their interests.



"I don't know how it will pan out, I hope it doesn't go back to the way it was as it's not fair for the customer, it's not a free market.



"They shouldn't have been as greedy in the first place.



"I paid £800 for a year's subscription compared to £700 a month for Sky in my small pub.



"In this climate that's a massive, massive boost to our income, I couldn't afford to have Sky and I couldn't afford to have it again, ever."



Mrs Murphy said the ruling will now return to the High Court which had referred it to the EU for clarification of the law.



She added: "It's been a lot of stress, it's been ups and downs, a lot of downs and thankfully now a few ups.



"We are 90% of the way now. I think I will be getting quite drunk this afternoon, a few glasses of wine, I think."



Regular Nicholas Whyley said: "I am absolutely thrilled for Karen and football fans up and down the country.



"Football will have to be as realistic as the rest of us.



"Football clubs will have to lower their prices to compete with the pubs because tere will be so many satellite channels showing it."







Mrs Murphy was ordered to pay almost £8,000 in fines and costs after she was taken to court by the League for using a Greek decoder in her Portsmouth pub to screen matches, avoiding the League's own controls over where its matches are screened.



But she took her case to the Luxembourg court which said today that some UK pubs had started using foreign decoder cards, issued by a Greek broadcaster to subscribers resident in Greece, to access Premier League matches.



The pubs buy a card and a decoder box from a dealer at prices lower than those of Sky, the holder of the UK broadcasting rights.



The landlady said she paid an annual fee of £800 for the foreign service but would have to pay £700 a month for Sky.



The judgment delivered today said: "The Court of Justice holds that national legislation which prohibits the import, sale or use of foreign decoder cards is contrary to the freedom to provide services and cannot be justified either in light of the objective of protecting intellectual property rights or by the objective of encouraging the public to attend football stadiums."



However, the judges said showing "protected works" - such as opening video sequences, the Premier League anthem or pre-recorded films showing highlights of recent matches - requires the authorisation of the author of those works.



The judgment went on: "By contrast, the matches themselves are not works enjoying such protection.



"That being so, the court decides that transmission in a pub of the broadcasts containing those protected works, such as the opening video sequence or the Premier League anthem, constitutes a 'communication to the public' within the meaning of the copyright directive, for which the authorisation of the author of the works is necessary, because when a pub transmits those works to the customers present on the premises the works are transmitted to an additional public which was not considered by the authors when they authorised the broadcasting of their works."



The verdict could mean a major rethink by the Premier League of its current exclusive agreements with Sky Sports - which provides the League with most of its television income - and ESPN.



The Premier League has already taken action against two suppliers of foreign satellite equipment and a group of pub landlords who used imported decoding equipment to show English Premier League games and avoid the commercial premises subscription fees for Sky.



The case against the landlords has now been settled but the League is continuing action against the suppliers of decoders.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Brand Marketing Manager - Essex - £45,000 + £5000 car allowance

£40000 - £45000 per annum + car allowance: Ashdown Group: Senior Brand Manager...

Guru Careers: .NET Developer /.NET Software Developer

£26 - 35k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking a .NET Developer /.NET Software ...

Guru Careers: Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing Exec (SEO / PPC)

£18 - 24k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Marketing Analyst / Online Marketing...

Guru Careers: Technical Operations Manager

£Neg. (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Technical Ope...

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015