Country singer Tommy Fleming has been awarded €150,000 in damages after Irish TV illegally broadcast his concert – but is unlikely to ever get a cent.
A High Court judge found the star suffered “a serious setback” following illegal broadcasts of his Voice of Hope DVD and is entitled to damages.
Tommy, his wife and manager Tina Mitchell Fleming and their company TF Productions were awarded €150,000 damages against the broadcaster, which is currently in liquidation.
They had sued Irish TV after the station broadcast a promotional DVD sent out by the singer in December 2014 under the title the Tommy Fleming Musical Extravaganza.
Judge Paul Gilligan said he was satisfied the Flemings had suffered damage and loss due to the copyright infringement.
He said Tommy “has suffered a serious set back to his entertainment career,” had been “undermined” and “the professional standard he has operated under has been damaged” by the unauthorised broadcasts by Irish TV.
He said the Flemings were entitled to €100,000 by way of damages for “infringement of intellectual property rights of which they are the owners”.
In addition their company T.F Productions was entitled to €50,000 damages as a contribution to the money it expended on minimising its losses.
The judge also awarded the three plaintiffs their legal costs against the defendants.
Irish TV, which had broadcast a 24-hour channel on Sky, Eir and free-to-air services, did not contest the application.
The court heard that the station had in correspondence before its liquidation said it believed it had permission to broadcast the show.
In his evidence to the court earlier this year, Tommy said the station never had his permission to broadcast the Voice of Hope.
He said he learned about the broadcast from a friend and said he would never have used the term Extravaganza in relation to his work. That word he said meant “circus”.
He said he had been damaged because the Voice of Hope had been broadcast on a small channel with low ratings. This had damaged his ability to be featured on major broadcasters.
While Tommy accepted that he his wife and their company may not get much out of any damages award against a firm in liquidation he said he had to proceed with his action because the case centred around what was their work.
If you have experienced a similar situation and would like some assistance then please don’t hesitate to get in contact with Fin at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1890 998 911.