Matchroom the famous boxing event organiser pleaded to the English court against websites illegally streaming boxing their matches on their respective websites leading to infringement of Matchroom’s copyright.
On September 20, The English High Court issued an an injuction order to Matchroom boxing (a boxing event organiser and promotion outfit) which restrained streaming sites from streaming Matchbox events by ordering the Internet Service Provider to block such streaming sites.
Few streaming sites which are supposed to be blocked as per the injunction order were Plusnet, TalkTalk, BT and Virgin Media and finally the broadcasting partner Sky Sports, a group of sports television channels operated by the satellite pay-TV company Sky plc.
Justice Arnold hit the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with copyright takedown notices to block the sites which were streaming Matchroom’s events illegally ahead of a boxing match between Anthony Joshua and Alexander Povetkin.
The Judge noted that Matchroom boxing organised 23 boxing events per year & Sky owns the broadcasting rights to Matchroom’s events and broadcasts them either on standard or pay per view (PPV) basis.
Sky pays substantial fees to Matchbox which owns the rights in the broadcast and films and both the companies share profits from PPV revenue. When Matchroom, with intent to protect its rights in terms of copyright as well as revenue, filed an application responding to the growing problem of its live footage being legally streamed, it was not opposed by ISP and surprisingly was supported by Sky as well even though it was beyond the ambit of their deal.
According to Judge Arnold, a large number of infringed streams having been watched for Mr Joshua’s most recent fights, which deprived both Matchbox and Sky of the substantial revenue obtained from the respective PPV events.
Considering that such an order would be proportional in allowing the defendant ISPs to carry on their business and at the same time avoiding creating barriers to legitimate trade.