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Hong Kong bars to pay for soccer

FIFA, TV operator refunded for illegal broadcasts

HONG KONG — Pay-TV rights holders came out victorious Tuesday when three Hong Kong bars agreed to pay compensation for illegally screening World Cup soccer matches last year carried by non-Hong Kong channels.

In an out-of-court settlement the bars made payments to Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and local pay-TV operator Hong Kong Cable Television Limited (Cable TV).

In a separate Hong Kong High Court action in July, the bars argued that FIFA and Cable TV had failed to supply sufficient evidence that the cable operator held the exclu-sive rights for the distribution of the World Cup football matches. The Judge said the bars had provided no reason to doubt the licensing arrangements.

Decision was welcomed by plaintiff, Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia. “The Hong Kong courts have once again emphasized the importance of intellec-tual property laws for broadcasters and the community at large,” Simon Twiston Davies, CEO of CASBAA, said.

Two other Hong Kong pubs have outstanding copyright claims against them.

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