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Piracy hearing Oct 5th (Read 2143 times)
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Piracy hearing Oct 5th
Sep 30th, 2010, 10:06pm
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) hearing in the Premier League’s case against QC Leisure, a supplier in the UK of foreign television smartcards, will take place in the court’s Grand Chamber on October 5.
The Grand Chamber of 13 judges is reserved for the most important and most complex cases of European law. Most ECJ cases are heard before three or five judges. The decision to hold the hearing in the Grand Chamber reinforces the view that the outcome of the case will have enormous implications for the way in which sports rights – and possibly all intellectual property rights – are sold in Europe.
At the heart of the case there is a clash between two principles of European law: the free movement of goods and services between EU member states and the right of content producers to sell licenses for their intellectual property on an exclusive national basis.
If the court privileges the free movement of goods and services over copyright protection, this could, some lawyers believe, prevent the league from requiring licensees across Europe to ensure that their broadcasts are not available in other EU territories. As one lawyer put it, “in practice, the Premier League would no longer be able to divide Europe into separate markets.”
A more conservative view is that, in practice, it would lead to nothing more than an expansion of the existing ‘grey market’, in which many expatriates already subscribe to television services from their homeland, many using a bogus address, or can access them through devices like Slingbox.  
Should be interesting !!!
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