FIFA, CASBAA hit IPR-infringing bars

FIFA and Hong Kong Cable Television Ltd. are initiating legal action against a number of public venues for allegedly airing unlicensed pay-TV broadcasts of the World Cup 2006 matches.

Speaking on behalf of the plaintiffs and 110 companies engaged in the regional pay-TV industry, the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) said writs had been served on five high-profile bars, along with cease and desist letters served on an unspecified number of public venues across Hong Kong.

FIFA and Hong Kong Cable, working with CASBAA, are seeking monetary damages for the infringements.

"Although the industry reached out to the Hong Kong food and beverage industry in the run up to the World Cup, stating that pay-TV signal theft is not to be tolerated by government or industry, many bars blatantly screened unlicensed pay-TV broadcasts. We have had no choice but to take the matter to the courts," said CASBAA CEO Simon Twiston Davies.