Premier blocking order for streaming servers
The High Court has granted the Football Association Premier League, in effect, a prototype blocking order against the six main UK internet service providers. The order required the ISPs to block access to servers that deliver infringing live streams of Premier League footage to UK consumers. All the requirements of section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 were held to be satisfied, including that the users and operators of the servers infringed related copyrights. The order, which was confined to live match windows and to the remainder of the 2016/17 season, was also found to be proportionate
The outcome of the case is not a surprising one, not least because the judge concerned knows as much about blocking injunctions as anyone, and because the parties had agreed to the terms of the order itself. What is more unusual is that this is the first blocking case relating to streaming servers. For rights-holders, it is encouraging to see the law keeping up with technological advances – a problem which, in the field of copyright, has presented a challenge for decades. Although illegal streaming is the present concern, another form of technology-aided copyright infringement awaits, and the law must be flexible enough to evolve with it.
To read the full article, click here. Written for Entertainment Law Review.