Hammonds seals victory for Uefa in copyright case

Hammonds has won an injunction for Uefa, in a key case that tested the Copyright Act’s strength against internet pirate broadcasters.

Mr Justice Lindsay ordered the defendants to stop broadcasting streamed matches, pay the costs of the claim and hand their profits over to Uefa. The defendants charged £7 for a two-month subscription to their sites, whereas a subscription to Sky Digital can cost up to £42 per month.

Stephen Sampson, the Hammonds IP solicitor that ran the case for Uefa, told The Lawyer: “This is the first judgment confirming that sport governing bodies own these works and that the acts undertaken by the defendants are infringement of copyright.”

Sampson added that the case grabbed the attention of others in the sport industry, possibly paving the way for more IP work for Hammonds. “I had a call from another well-known governing body,” said Sampson. “They were looking at a similar action.”

Hammonds helped Uefa crack down on ticket touts for the Euro 2004 football tournament and the 2005 Champions League. The firm also represented BSkyB, which helped prosecute the pirate broadcasters.

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