Ukraine Rules Against Viasat in Copyright Dispute

Apr 26 2010 - 12:17

Ukraine’s Supreme Court has ruled against satellite television distributor Viasat Ukraine in its dispute with a Ukrainian broadcaster Poverkhnost Sport TV over copyright infringement.

Kyiv Post reported on April 1, 2010 that Poverkhnost Sport TV sued Viasat Ukraine for illegally rebroadcasting Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League soccer matches in the 2008-2009 season. Poverkhnost permitted several TV channels to air the matches terrestrially, but Viasat Ukraine broadcast those channels live via satellite.

Poverkhnost legal representative Viktoria Zhelenkova said the court ordered the defendant to pay a compensation of EUR 742,095 (USD 1,010,362) to the plaintiff.
Viasat Ukraine disagrees with the decision and will appeal.
“We still question the very fact that this case was heard by the Supreme Court, given that the Constitutional Court defined the High Commercial Court as the supreme body in the economic courts system. As a matter of fact, the ruling of the Supreme Court on a cassation appeal was unprecedented,” stated Oksana Ferchuk, CEO of Viasat Ukraine.

According to Kyiv Post, this is the first time the Supreme Court has ruled on an issue involving copyright infringement between two broadcasters. It is expected that this case will form an important precedent in Ukraine’s copyright practice.

Viasat Ukraine, founded as Vision TV in 2006, operates as a subsidiary of Swedish media conglomerate Modern Times Group and Austria-based supplier of digital satellite receivers, Strong Media Group.

For more information, please contact Jelena Jankovic at our Balkan Regional Office.

Source: Kyiv Post

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