Premier League blocks illegal streaming site
July 17, 2013 10.09 Europe/London By Julian Clover

The Premier League has won a High Court ruling requiring the six main UK-based Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to one of the biggest illegal live football-streaming sites in the UK.

The High Court ruled that First Row Sports was acting jointly with third party streaming services to distribute live coverage of Premier League matches in breach of the Premier League’s copyright.

Section 97A of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 has been used previously by the music and film industries to secure protection from illegal streaming sites, such as Pirate Bay, but this is the first time that a sporting body has sought an order blocking a site that infringes its copyright.

It is also the first time that an order has been granted against a website that facilitates access to other illegal streaming sites.

A Premier League spokesman said: “We are extremely pleased that the order blocking this website has been granted and we will be enforcing it, in conjunction with the ISPs, ahead of the 2013/14 Barclays Premier League season.

Mr Justice Arnold also made clear that any publicans using First Row Sports to screen Premier League matches in their premises are communicating copyright works to the public, which would put them in breach of Section 20 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988.

The Premier League said it would be significantly increasing its enforcement activity, ahead of new UK rights contracts for BSkyB and BT Sport.