Copyright and Trademark Violation Repercussions

Copyright and Trademark Violation Repercussions

Showing a pay-per-view event at your bar is something that can draw customers and increase revenue. But, be careful you may be violating copyright and trademark laws if you obtain the event improperly.

copyright and trademark

To increase the night's pull, you may be tempted to broadcast such events via pay-per-view programming, which if not licensed properly, equates to an illegal stream - violating copyright and trademark laws. You should think twice before doing so, as it can come with numerous legal ramifications if caught.

The improper receipt and display of pay-per-view programming violates federal law prohibiting the unauthorized receipt of radio or television transmissions. If this unlawful broadcast provides "commercial advantage" or "private financial gain" the penalties are much worse.


  • A fine as much as $100,000 or more
  • The possibility of imprisonment if a criminal conviction is obtained

Many bar owners may not know or understand the seriousness of illegally broadcasting pay-per-view events. However, ignorance is no excuse, especially in a time when companies are putting more of a focus on protecting copyrights.

"With these closed-circuit events, the promoters have a legitimate right to defend their agreements," Anthony R. Caruso, Scarcini Hollenbeck sports and entertainment attorney, told the Los Angeles Times. "I do have sympathy for the bar owners, like I would have sympathy for the teenager who downloads music not really knowing it's against the law."

Bar owners are charged based on the size of their establishment for these events, so a large bar could face a hefty fee just to broadcast a boxing match. For example, a bar with up to 50 seats paid $1,600 for the recent Manny Pacquiao Timothy Bradley matchup. If you own a bar, you may see this fee and be overwhelmed, but just think of the $100,000+ fine you could face if caught illegally broadcasting an event.


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AboutAnthony R. Caruso

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