Archive | March 11, 2009

Its now official – tennis racquets are not a deadly weapon

March 11, 2009

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Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/travel/news/article5880811.ece; http://austriantimes.at/index.php?id=11738

 

Case C-345/06 can be downloaded from the European Court of Justice (ECJ) here: http://curia.europa.eu/en/content/juris/index.htm

 

Gottfried Heinrich (an airline passenger) took airport authorities to the European Court of Justice after he was prevented from boarding his plane at Vienna-Schwechat airport on 25th September 2005. Airport security officials told him he could not take tennis racquets onto the plane as hand luggage, as they were classed as “prohibited articles” under an unpublished annex to EU regulation 2320/2002 (although tennis racquets were not specifically prevented, there is a catch-all prohibition banning Bludgeons: Blackjacks, billy clubs, baseball clubs or similar instruments”).

 

An Austrian administrative court agreed with Mr Heinrich that because that the rules in question had never been published, they were therefore not enforceable against individual passengers. In light of the public importance of the decision, they referred the matter onto the ECJ who also agreed, stating in particular that:

 

“The principle of legal certainly requires that Community rules enable those concerned to know precisely the extent of the obligations which are imposed on them. Individuals must be able to ascertain unequivocally what their rights and obligations are and take steps accordingly,” [44]

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Flushing out prosecutions

March 11, 2009

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In response to last month’s DPP v. Wright [2009] EWHC 105 (Admin) case, our very own Kris & Pippa have written an article in the Solicitors Journal discussing the implications of the case for future prosecutions. You can read the full text of the article on the Solicitors Journal website: http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/story.asp?sectioncode=3&storycode=13801&c=1

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Pirate broadcasts (yo-ho-ho!)

March 11, 2009

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Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/7902769.stm

see also the following 2006 legal article by Stephen Sampson: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6VB3-4KTPS50-B&_user=2631370&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000058272&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=2631370&md5=46c0328ceb95405e9e04e92d2ed0b241

 

Premier League lawyer, Oliver Weingarten, told the BBC last month that the most popular sites that stream illegal live football attract up to a quarter of a million viewers for a single game!

 

However, while the Premier League, and a number of other rights holders from other sports, plan to target the sites showing these games rather than the viewers (and have taken legal action already against five of these sites), many of the more popular sites are based abroad. This raises a number of International Intellectual Property issues and given the current controversy about music sites such as Pirate Bay, potentially reduces the chances of a successful conviction.

 

While Weingarten suggests that such legal action is necessary to protect the atmosphere at stadiums, and ensure that clubs have enough gate / catering receipts to continue their operations and pay their players salaries,  in a credit crunch, such an argument may carry little weight with fans. Indeed, a quick search of the internet and bulletin boards reveals a number of links advertising free streaming (If the IT dept of Staffordshire University is reading this, I didn’t click on any of them, honest!!!)  Maybe what is therefore needed is a re-evaluation of the industry much like Itunes revolutionised music and pre-empted a debate on music licensing, we need a similar debate over access to sports events? Anybody fancy starting such a debate below?

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UK eSports League

March 11, 2009

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Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7897503.stm; http://www.ukesa.com/

 

A new professional gaming association called the United Kingdom eSports Association (UKeSA) has now been set up. The Association caters for both amateur and professional gamers and players can compete using a variety of PC, Xbox 360, Wii, or PS3 games.

 

There are currently no English sports governing body for eSports, despite a number of events gaining in popularity worldwide. Indeed, the Asian Indoor Games hosts Electronic Sports Competitions.

 

While there is a history of professional electronic sports competitions and leagues around the world, it is not unilaterally positive. The msot recent casualty came on November 18th 2008, when the American based Championship Gaming Series (CGS) folded. Insiders suggest that many of the problems with CGS were connected with its live television broadcasts of the games, and that gamers wanted to play rather than simply watch other people play. The choice of games and formats was also quite limited.

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