Sports Organizations Worldwide Using Copyright Claims To Fight Press Coverage
from the stupidity-knows-no-bounds dept
Various sports organizations seem to have taken a page from the RIAA and the MPAA over the last few years, stupidly thinking that it makes sense to try to cash in on every little segment of their events, even if it hurts the promotional value of those events, killing off fan interest in the process. We’d mentioned earlier this year how the NFL was claiming that it could control how reporters reported on NFL players and events. Soon after that, we wrote about how the organizers of the Rugby World Cup faced a boycott from reporters, after they tried to put restrictions on the reporting as well. In both cases, the sporting leagues are claiming they can do this because they own the “intellectual property” rights on the events — which is a total bastardization of the purpose of copyright. It’s never been meant to restrict how reporters could report on the events.
However, that’s not stopping more sporting event organizers from salivating at the chance to control the press some more. A bunch of them have now banded together to form an organization (no, we are not kidding) to push for worldwide treaties that would recognize their intellectual property rights over game events. The group claims it needs to do this to “protect and promote the special nature of sport.” Oh really? And just letting reporters, say, report on these events doesn’t protect or promote the nature of sport? It seems more likely that these sports organizations are trying to put these restrictions on reporters for a variety of reasons — from covering up negative stories to forcing reporters to act as advertisers for sponsors of the sport. Either way, it goes well beyond the purpose of any intellectual property law — and hopefully politicians aren’t blinded by “the special nature of sport” into agreeing to any kind of restrictions on reporting on those events.