Twenty four hours after Robert Kubica’s shocking crash in the Canadian Grand Prix, Formula One Management forced YouTube to remove video footage of the Pole’s miraculous escape.
FOM are entirely legally correct to pursue copyright infringement. But it doesn’t stop it from being a futile waste of time and resources. I fail to see how F1 clips appearing on the Internet damages FOM at all.
In fact, I think high profile publicity can only be good for the sport – especially when the message is: “Look how safe our cars are!”
FOM must have some twisted reasoning why F1 fans being able to see short replays of races on the Internet is bad for their business.
I don’t believe for one second that anyone has ever decided not to watch the live broadcast of a race thinking, “Why bother when I can watch short, low quality, blurry video on YouTube later?”
Internet video can bring F1 into contact with young, fresh, new audience members – the lifeblood of any sport. It allows people in countries with no F1 coverage to see the sport. It allows those of us in countries where the broadcasters ruin the races with advert breaks to catch up on what we missed.
But most of all it’s utterly, utterly futile. Already there are new copies of the Kubica crash back on YouTube, and countless other websites are carrying the footage.
Instead of wasting their time stopping the sports fans from enjoying F1 in a way that does not hurt FOM one iota, they should be working on offering them a high quality, high resolution F1 broadcast over the internet. I’d certainly pay good money for it, because I for one am sick of ITV’s abysmal coverage. (Except for Martin Brundle).