Premier league 'developing software to stop fans sharing video' – F1 to do same?

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    Keith Collantine

    The English Premier (football) League is warning fans not to upload footage from matches onto video sharing sites and says it’s developing software to prevent it from happening:

    “It’s a breach of copyright and we would discourage fans from doing it, we’re developing technologies like gif crawlers, Vine crawlers, working with Twitter to look to curtail this kind of activity.”

    He added: “I know it sounds as if we’re killjoys but we have to protect our intellectual property.”

    The Premier League has a web video highlights contract with two British newspapers, which this is obviously being done to protect.

    It’s probably only a matter of time before we see F1 cracking down in this way – whether it will go hand-in-hand with an online video highlights deal is another matter.



    I basically agree that it is not right to upload copyrighted material to YouTube or similar websites. You should have to pay for watching exclusive high-quality footage of F1 or Premier League, just like you pay for books or opera tickets.

    However, I believe that fans should still be allowed to share videos that they have filmed themselves and that FOM should also upload much more footage to and at least some part of it should be for free to attract new fans and to not alienate fans, who cannot afford to pay. Otherwise the “protectors” are really nothing else than killjoys.



    I perfectly understand if FOM (and others like the EPL) want to take down their copyrighted content. That’s legal.

    However, I am DEFINITELY NOT OK with the idea of fans’ own videos being taken down. I highly doubt that’s legal. Maybe it is, but I haven’t ever heard of this being so.

    More importantly, if they’re not going to provide the footage themselves (even if it’s pay-only) then that’s just alienating fans – they aren’t ‘protecting’ anything because they have nothing to protect.

    I would be perfectly happy to pay a subscription for online streaming on and access to full race replays (I wouldn’t because here in Australia it’s still free on TV, although there are a lot of ads). Same with historic content – maybe they could provide access to old races too.

    In other news, how can the EPL even detect if it’s an EPL video. What if it’s someone’s video of their son playing soccer in a Manchester United jersey?


    David Not Coulthard

    If even fan-recorded videos are being taken down (rather than copyrighted TV feeds, and that’s not what the BBC article looks like)maybe I should read that 19 80-4 book sometime soon, for those who have read it how long did it take?

    Regarding F1, wouldn’t Bernie rather wait for social media’s demise? :)



    I personally think it’s a joke if they remove peoples videos of the internet, especially after charging outrageous ticket prices for games. I think both the BPL and FOM should have their own youtube channels where they upload brief highlights or something a long those lines, they’ll certainly be less people uploading their content if they made it more accessible for people to watch it. They can even go up a week after the races so people will still watch the highlight shows on TV.

    Heck when it comes to social media as a whole, FOMs take on it is embarrassing. At least with the BPL their website and twitter accounts are frequently updated, looks modern and are easily accessible. FOM still think we’re still in 2006 and their website design hasn’t been changed for years. Not to mention the very little footage they do upload is just 1 onboard lap and a stupid music video which considering the amount of footage they have for each Grand Prix is nothing. In a way it’s sad when fan sites like F1Fanatic provide a much better service to fans in terms on news and keeping us updated with what’s going on in the sport.



    I’d rather have the music industry develop something like this. Artists gain little from the 65% of concertgoers who record the entire thing on their smartphone, dump it on youtube and be done with it. (Except from receiving the eternal scorn of people who go to a concert to enjoy themselves, instead of wearing it like a badge of coolness).

    With sporting events, it’s different. Fans can sometimes capture what a TV director can not. Just remember the streaker during the World Cup finale or the other angle provided by a fan for Raikkonen’s Silverstone crash.

    I’m also unsure how the legal construct is. Their official feeds are their intellectual property. But what the legal bindings of ‘only the official organizer can capture video of the event’ is, I don’t know. But why stop at video? Is taking pictures ok? What about bringing a camera which takes multiple shots per second and put that in a GIF? Is that allowed?

    It seems like a bit of a legal minefield. I hope a football fan with a law degree can make a good case against this sort of thing if it comes to fruition.


    David Not Coulthard

    Anyway when I wrote

    and that’s not what the BBC article looks lik

    I meant that “It didn’t look like they were trying to take down fan-made videos”…..



    Artists gain little from the 65% of concertgoers who record the entire thing on their smartphone, dump it on youtube and be done with it.

    Nobody gains from that though. The quality is always so poor that nobody watches much of it, and even if they do how does it take away anything the artists?


    As much as I understand the BPL trying to protect its intellectual property, the fact is that people will always find ways to watch and share Premier League clips online.

    The same is also true with F1. The best thing to do at this stage isn’t to try and fight against it, but embrace it.



    I don’t get the obsession with protection intellectual property at all costs.
    For sporting events I can’t really see the point of it, they just seem to loose a lot of free exposure.

    Let’s compare it to a band. A band spends money and time to makes a song. Plays it once at a concert, let’s radio stations air it live, and then half of it in the following week. For the song to never reappear officially.
    Commercially such an approach would be a disaster. But that is what F1, and apparently other sports are doing right now.

    If they don’t want us to upload copyrighted material. Fine. But then at least present an alternative!
    I am sure the sponsors wouldn’t mind being seen several million times more after each race. Not only that, they would make money from adds from whatever site hosting these videos.
    Most importantly though, it will be much, much easier to attract new fans.
    What is not to like? I really don’t know.

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