Grangemouth pub hit by £10,000 fine for Sky screening

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Grangemouth bar The Ellwyn is one of three Scots pubs to be hit with £10,000 in damages for infringing Sky TV’s copyright.

The award against the pubs followed a Court of Session ruling after the three screened programmes without the appropriate licence.

The Ellwyn, the Thistle Tavern in Fife and and the Fourways in Wishaw were identified as having breached the rules after undercover Sky representatives monitored what programmes they were showing.

The action was carried out by Burness Paull LLP on behalf of Sky, in line with a longstanding policy of pursuing pubs and clubs across Britain who are said to breach its commercial conditions,

Publicans, including main trade body the Scottish Licensed Trade Association, regularly complain the satellite TV giant’s charges to licensees are unreasonably high.

Over the years some Scots publicans have also argued that Sky’s package offers poor value for money in terms of content.

But all trade bodies consistently warn against attempts to bypass Sky’s commercial agreement.

The firm visits thousands of pubs across Britain every year in hopes of catching out licensees who flout its rules, and damages are regularly awarded against pubs in Scotland.

Sky’s head of commercial piracy, George Lawson, argues its investigations protect publicans said to lose business unfairly because of illegal screenings.

He said the advertisement of the findings would send a signal out to others in the trade about the consequences of illegal Sky screening.

Nobody was available for comment at the Ellwyn.