Pirate broadcasts (yo-ho-ho!)

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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About Kris

Associate Professor in Sports Law, Staffordshire University; British Gymnastics Senior Coach

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    […] Pirate broadcasts (yo-ho-ho!) « The Sports Law Canary […]

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