Sky TV wins a legal battle to protect its Copyright


Palak Arora 08/04/21 #copyright #patent #trademarks #infringement #blogging #intellectualproperty #IPR #IPRinfo #IPlaw #IPRrights #Trademarkclickcom #IP #lawfirms #lawyers #legalmarketing #entrepreneur #IPRBlog #IPBlog #YouTube #Reddit #Cherzo #Cherol #SkyTV #Subreddits #UK

Sky has won a groundbreaking legal battle a few days back against a man accused of breaching their copyright. He was accused of earning thousands of pounds by way of providing various hyperlink links to watch their TV shows on the platforms of YouTube and Reddit. However, the company was granted an interim interdict at the Court of Session against the accused named Alex Cherrie. The court found that he was behind the channels of YouTube and Reddit where he used to provide access to numerous shows which are behind a paywall. 

An interim interdict means a court order is made in Scotland that prevents someone from acting in a particular way that would breach another party's legal rights. Breaching an interdict can attract imposition of fine or imprisonment on the breached. In this case, Sky TV of UK sought to prevent Cherrie in every possible manner from copying their unlimited programs and even from providing links of these via his own online forum. He was a resident of North Lanarkshire. The ruling of the court is capable enough to set a precedent for other companies who are seeking to protect their copyright from such people who are experts in setting up links to allow others to bypass their paywalls.

The YouTube channel of Cherrie had subscribers of nearly 100,000 and which was being viewed 16 million times since being set up in the year 2016. He was alleged of charging users up to £17 per month for his services. A judgment which was issued at the Court of Session headed by Lady Wolffe granted an interim interdict with the aim to prevent Cherrie from breaching Sky's copyright.

Lady Wolffe said: “The pursuer has established that the balance of convenience favors the grant of interim interdict. A number of factors support that conclusion. The pursuer has established a strong prima facie case. It has also demonstrated that this is potentially a flagrant breach, given that the infringing posts on the Subreddits have continued notwithstanding the closure of the defender's YouTube Account and, indeed, the removal (at the pursuer's request) of infringing content from that channel as far back as July 2020. The defender's activities demonstrate infringement on a large scale. The defender has in excess of 51,000 users across the Subreddits and had 95,000 users on the YouTube Account. The number of users of the Subreddits continues to grow: between July and November 2020 there had been a 17 percent growth in numbers.”

“The defender was not just engaged in copying images, the defender appears to have copied and made available to the public whole episodes of the pursuer's content which has the protection of copyright. The defender has thousands of viewers who may view the Sky Broadcasts without restriction. None of this has been authorized by the pursuer,” he further added. The court was told during the hearings that all the accounts were being run under the names of Cherzo and Cherzol. An investigation was carried out which resulted in the identification of Cherrie being their operator.

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