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Small fine for supplier of Sky card sharing

A supplier of Satelite systems was today given small fines totalling £2,000 and ordered to pay costs for supplying card sharing software that allowed users of set to boxes to view Turkish and Italian football.

Mr OA appeared today at Leeds Crown court having earlier pleaded guilty to 5 counts of supplying articles for the use in fraud. He admitted that he was reckless as he pointed clients to the internet where they could purchase card sharing software that allowed them to view Sky in the UK. All of his clients were subscribers of Sky, but wanted to watch Italian or Turkish football, which was barred in the UK.

Mr A also sold two boxes to an undercover security investigator who posed as a genuine customer and asked for a smart card that would allow his relative to view Sky abroad. The case had been sent to the Crown Court by the Magistrates as the prosecution had alleged that other customers had obtained access to Sky without paying. These allegations were withdrawn, and the case dealt with at the first opportunity.

The case follows the decision in the case of Karen Murphy, landlady of the Red White and Blue public house in Portsmouth, who used a Greek decoder to show UK football on Sky. The FA premier league had attempted to clamp down on this avoidance of territory by territory pricing, but the opinion of the advocate general to the European Court was that the exclusivity arrangement had the effect of partitioning the internal market, which is an impariment of freedom to provide services.

It is anticipated that BSkyB will contest this view, which only has the status of an opinion at this stage. 

Originally posted 2011-05-31 00:00:00.

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