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Friday 27 April 2018

Singer Fleming wins €150,000 fight over illegal DVD broadcasts

Singer Tommy Fleming with his wife and manager Tina. Photo: Collins
Singer Tommy Fleming with his wife and manager Tina. Photo: Collins

A High Court judge has found that Tommy Fleming suffered "a serious setback" following illegal broadcasts of his Voice of Hope DVD on a TV station and is entitled to damages.

The singer, his wife and manager Tina Mitchell Fleming, and their company TF Productions were awarded €150,000 damages against broadcaster Irish TV which is in liquidation.

They had sued Irish TV after a promotional DVD sent out by the singer for his 2004 recording Voice of Hope was broadcast under the title the 'Tommy Fleming Musical Extravaganza' in December 2014.

Circus

In his judgment delivered yesterday, Mr Justice Paul Gilligan said he was satisfied Mr Fleming and Mrs Fleming had suffered damage and loss.

In particular Mr Fleming "has suffered a serious setback 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.

The judge said the Flemings were entitled to €100,000 by way of damages for infringement of intellectual property rights.

In addition, TF Productions was entitled to €50,000 damages as a contribution to the money it spent on minimising its losses.

The judge also awarded the three plaintiffs their legal costs against the defendants.

Irish TV, which had operated from Westport Industrial Park in Co Mayo and 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 said in correspondence before its liquidation that it believed it had permission to broadcast the show.

In his evidence earlier this year, Mr Fleming told the court 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 Voice of Hope had been broadcast on a small channel with low ratings.

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