Who Will Be The First Person Sued For Copyright Infringement Over Lifecasting?

from the it's-a-series-of-tubes... dept

The Premier League, the UK based football (or soccer, for those of us on this side of the Atlantic) league has a long history of misunderstanding the internet, and often that seems to involve having its lawyers lash out at the wrong people. First, back in 2005, the league blamed broadband providers for allowing fans to stream games live online, rather than recognizing that fans streaming such games showed a real demand for such a service. Then, in 2007, the league sued YouTube for hosting some clips of Premier League matches. This was boneheaded for a variety of reasons. First, YouTube was not the guilty party if it was copyright infringement. The liable party would be whoever uploaded the clips. Second, given YouTube's limits, people could only post relative short clips of games, which, if anything might help attract more fans to the matches.

The latest is that the Premier League is suing Justin.tv, the popular online service that helps people "lifecast," allowing them to broadcast a live streaming video from their computer camera. The Premier League noted that some Justin.tv lifecasters happened to point their cameras at a Premier League game on television, which the league considers to be infringement. Of course, the lawsuit is (yet again) mistargeted. Even if this is infringement, it's not Justin.tv's liability, but whoever the lifecaster is who pointed his or her camera at the screen.

Either way, this raises some more interesting questions about lifecasting. Specifically, pretty much anyone lifecasting their regular day is probably guilty of many, many copyright violations based on current interpretation of copyright law. If you hear a song, that's infringement. If you walk past a TV, that's infringement. Hell, reading a book could be infringement too according to some. Just the fact that you're letting someone else see what you see is basically infringement, which, when you think about it, highlights just how ridiculous copyright laws are these days. So when will start to see lawsuits against lifecasters?

Filed Under: copyright, lifecasting
Companies: justin.tv, premier league

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  1. identicon
    Hobbs, 4 Nov 2008 @ 11:45am

    Ohhh the tasty irony

    LOL there is something ironic about being sued for infringement, because one broadcasts their own life. If we don’t own our own existence . . . LOL well John Locke must be rolling over in his British grave. Stick with this one Mike, it has the potential to provide lots of yummy sound bites for future arguments.

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