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Karen Murphy wins legal battle with Premier League over foreign decoders conviction
11:06am Friday 24th February 2012 in Business
A HAMPSHIRE pub landlady has won her legal battle to overturn her conviction for using foreign decoders to show Premier League football matches.
It was conceded in the High Court today that Karen Murphy's appeal over using a cheaper Greek decoder in her Portsmouth pub to bypass controls over match screening must be allowed.
The concession follows a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that found partly in her favour on various issues of law.
But a judge made clear that many other complex issues regarding the wider legality of screening matches would have to be decided ''at a later date''.
Instead of using Sky, which has the rights to screen the Premier League in the UK, Ms Murphy used the Greek station Nova's coverage in her pub, which was cheaper than the equivalent Sky package.
She paid £800 a year for a Greek decoder, saying she ''couldn't afford'' Sky's charge of £700 a month.
She took her fight for the right to use the cheaper provider to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) which ruled in October 2011 that having an exclusive system was ''contrary to EU law''.
But the Premier League claimed a partial victory, after the ECJ said it maintained the copyright for some sections of the broadcast, such as on-screen logos and graphics.
Mrs Murphy, who runs The Red, White and Blue pub in Fawcett Road, Portsmouth, said she believed she had won ''90%'' of the battle.
The ruling was enough for all sides to concede today at London's High Court that Ms Murphy's conviction could not stand, - though many issues over screening games remain outstanding.
Mrs Murphy took her fight to the ECJ after being ordered to pay almost £8,000 in fines and costs.
The case is being seen as of importance to the way soccer TV rights are sold in the future and could have a crucial impact on the game as a whole.