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“they think it’s all over…” …it is now for infringing Premier League streams

16 March 2017
The Football Association Premier League “FAPL” sought an injunction against internet service providers (most of which consented or did not object) requiring them to block access to servers used to deliver infringing streams of Premier League footage.

FAPL issued the application due to the increasing number of consumers turning to set top boxes, medial players and mobile device apps to access infringing streams. The High Court acknowledged that traditional blocking orders which target websites will not be able to prevent the growing majority of infringements as these devices can connect directly to streaming servers via their IP address.

The High Court concluded that it had jurisdiction to make the order under section 97A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and that there was a public interest in doing so. It also held that the restricted order applied for would not impair the defendants freedom to carry on business.

The order will come into force on 18 March 2017 until the end of the 2016/2017 Premier League season. The order is a live blocking order, the first of its kind, which has effect only at the times when live premier league match footage is being broadcast. Whilst we will have to wait to assess the effectiveness of the order, it is evident from this judgement that the UK courts will continue to find solutions to address new intellectual property problems in the digital age.

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