English Premier League Apparently Wants Fans To Hate It Even More: Threatens To Pull Down Vines And Animated GIFs

from the because-the-premier-league-is-stupid dept

There's a line of thought that appears sometimes in copyright debates that simply leaves me completely... flabbergasted. It's the idea that you have to go after and stop infringement because it's infringement, period. Even if you point out that stopping the infringement is costly and probably counterproductive, there's this belief that "infringement must be stopped at all costs." I've even had explanations where people insist that even if stopping piracy harms a market, it still must be stopped "because it's piracy." People who fear that infringement hurts markets -- I can understand, even if the evidence doesn't always support it. But people who insist that it must be stopped, no matter what the cost, are simply people I cannot understand at all.

And yet that seems to be happening with the English Premier League. No doubt, the Premier League has something of a history of ridiculous overreaction to intellectual property issues, including suing YouTube because people had uploaded clips of games. This was a few years after threatening to sue the fans themselves.

The latest is that the Premiere League has warned fans that it's going to shut down any attempts at sharing Vines or animated gifs of goals. The reasoning seems to be purely about "it's the law!"
In an interview with Newsbeat, Dan Johnson, director of communications at the Premier League, said: "You can understand that fans see something, they can capture it, they can share it, but ultimately it is against the law."

"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."
As for the fact that this might piss off fans? The Premier League doesn't care. At all.
He added: "I know it sounds as if we're killjoys but we have to protect our intellectual property."
Actually, no, you don't "have to protect" your intellectual property. In fact, if it's stupid to do so -- pissing off fans and angering the very people who pay the bills, it seems like a bad idea. But the Premier League doesn't seem to care about that at all. It's just taking the "we must protect our IP" view of it all. Because.

Of course, there's a strong argument that, here in the US, the use of such things would be clearly fair use. Unfortunately, however, the UK doesn't have fair use, and the entertainment industry has fought hard against allowing it, saying it would harm innovation.

So, the end result is the Premier League "protects" its intellectual property, pisses off fans, and basically misses out on pretty much any chance for remaining fans to bring other non-fans to the sport. It doesn't make any sense, but, again, it seems to come from a mindset that just is incomprehensible to me.

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  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 15 Aug 2014 @ 6:08pm

    Someone remind me again, why do people continue to be fans of groups that outright and blatantly hate and hold contempt for their fans/customers?

    Seems to me the better response from fans, after being shown such contempt would be 'Oh, so you don't want us involved with your sports/show/game/music? Works for us, there's plenty of other sources of entertainment to go to, sources that don't insist on total control at the cost of any creativity or involvement on the part of the customers/fans.'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2014 @ 8:01pm

      Re:

      From the end of Ars Technica's poorly written article on the subject:

      "Fans can watch goals legally by paying £8 a month to subscribe to Sun+, a service from The Sun newspaper, the BBC noted."


      The EPL or one of it's partners at least is attempting to make clips of the goals part of a paid service. Only to have some of their fans rip the clips from the broadcasts and share them all over social media. Pretty much destroying the value of the clips in as far as an incentive to use the premium service.

      So it's no surprise that they'd be rather miffed about fans sharing clips all over the place.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 15 Aug 2014 @ 8:42pm

        Re: Re:

        If someone is a big enough fan of the sport/teams that a simple 6-second clip and/or gif is of interest to them, odds are they would have no problem paying for a service that incorporates those clips, if the service was offered in a reasonable manner, and had more to it than just short clips of goals.

        The only way vines/gifs would present a real threat to that service is if they didn't offer anything of significance beyond the goal footage, such that the vines/gifs were a worthwhile substitute to their meager offering.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        charliebrown (profile), 15 Aug 2014 @ 10:58pm

        Re: Re:

        subscribe to Sun+

        Fucking Murdoch!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 12:21am

      Re: Fans

      That is exactly the problem with a lot of things.

      I don't think it matters what sports fans get pissed off or excited about, as long as they get pissed off or excited, they are satisfied. Which is why we have ridiculously subsidized sports with high profit, and why it doesn't matter how much the price of attendance or other access is increased, or how poorly and idiotically fans are treated. No significant number of consumers will ever walk away. So what you have is a triangle stupid: the bad aspects of the law, those who wish it enforced maximally even against their own interests, and the consumers who keep paying against their own interests or enjoyment.

      Why would anything ever change in the opposite direction?

      I don't know the answer to your question. Which was rhetorical to begin with, I'm sure. ;)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        TestPilotDummy, 16 Aug 2014 @ 12:39am

        Re: Re: Fans

        I'll go ahead and say it now. Watchout for Rising SPORTS MEMORABILIA Value. right.

        Since the OLDER it is the LESS FASCIST

        lol

        Now where's my Solid Silver MEDAL

        Anyone bother to analyze the so-called fsckin gold, silver medals of the last couple of sport orgies?

        aye now, one thing, I ain't saying don't workout, or do your OWN sports. Grep that. fsck grok

        peace

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dreddsnik, 16 Aug 2014 @ 6:25am

      Re:

      I don't understand this myself. I live in 'Bears' territory. They treat the locals like the snot from their nose when they go to restaurants. They're openly contemptuous os the 'smallfolk', and yet, everyone still thinks they're 'awesome' and it's a privilege for us to have them around. It's almost like 'professional' sports switches off something in peoples brains. I really don't get it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2014 @ 8:14pm

    Prohibitionist Mindset

    I guess that is the exact mindset of the prohibitionist. It is illegal therefor it should not exist. Q.E.D. and damn reality for insisting otherwise. We need more force!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2014 @ 8:14pm

    The UK's national slogan...

    Sorry, but there's a profit to the had.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Easily Amused (profile), 15 Aug 2014 @ 8:17pm

    *insert joke about how they can only attempt to sell clips of the goals because there is such a limited supply*

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2014 @ 8:01am

      Re:

      Excelent. Supply and demand have always been superior forces in the marketplace.

      Now is they could organize some sort of 'Academy Award' type competition for the acting that goes on when 'love tapped' by an opposing player. Then they might have an actual venue to make some money.*

      *Acting classes by players for those in the performing arts by appointment only.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2014 @ 8:31pm

    "Of course, there's a strong argument that, here in the US, the use of such things would be clearly fair use."

    Variations of this sentence have started to appear over the course of the past few months in virtually every article you author talking about the use of material from a work secured under copyright law. I am left wondering if there are any circumstances where you would agree that there is clearly no argument that can be presented with a straight face that fair use is a viable defense.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2014 @ 8:49pm

      Re:

      I am left wondering if you have anything to actually contribute.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2014 @ 10:39pm

      Re:

      So you think a six second clip of a ninety-minute event is enough to constitute copyright infringement?

      You're a jackass.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        art guerrilla (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 5:25am

        Re: Re:

        except "a six second clip of a ninety-minute event" is pretty much ALL the actual action in a typical soccer game ! ! !


        besides, what will be the incentive for anyone to produce more clips, who will watch espn/etc for clips when this, um, other, method is available...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 6:29am

        Re: Re:

        In a 1-0 football game, it's perhaps the most important and most relevant 6 seconds of all. It's hard to imagine a fair use defense that would really fly here.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Richard (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 9:34am

          Re: Re: Re:

          However if the clip was filmed by the fan hten he owns the copyright - and there is no need for such a defence.

          Events have no copyright unless they are staged or choreographed (as in theatre, music or dance). Sporting events have no copyright - unless the premier league is admitting that the matches are fixed.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2014 @ 9:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Here" is seems that everything must be fair use. "There" (which is everywhere else) not so much, if at all.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Aug 2014 @ 8:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's why I quit watching sports. I can pay $15 a month and get all the unlimited interaction I desire.

          vs NFL..... $300 for 3 hours, or $100/hr, for one day only. That's just for the seats. Not including drinks, food, candy, beer, souvenirs.

          They can keep their 6 seconds, and die a slow, boring death.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 18 Aug 2014 @ 1:14pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If the majority of the value of a game exists in a 6 second span, nobody would watch the game in the first place. I know a lot of people who love soccer, but they love watching the entire game, not just the winning goal. I doubt if any one of them would pay a premium to see just the goal, so the real economic value isn't there.

          Seems like fair use to me.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 15 Aug 2014 @ 11:44pm

      Re:

      "Variations of this sentence have started to appear over the course of the past few months in virtually every article you author talking about the use of material from a work secured under copyright law."

      Do you know the saying that "dog bites man" is not worth writing about but "man bites dog" is? Fair use is a very important topic at Techdirt, and when fair use is abused then it gets written about. It shouldn't take above average levels of intelligence to work this out...

      "I am left wondering if there are any circumstances where you would agree that there is clearly no argument that can be presented with a straight face that fair use is a viable defense."

      Y'know all those things TD hasn't written about? Maybe it's them.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Beech, 16 Aug 2014 @ 6:05am

      Re:

      Well that's because you have to look at the representative sample. If there is an instance of a person or group doing something stupid with copyright, like taking down content despite fair use, techdirt writes about it. It's kind of their thing. Someone legitimately taking down actual infringing content isn't really much of a story. Techdirt highlights the abuses, not the times it actually works.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 18 Aug 2014 @ 6:46am

      Re:

      Variations of this sentence have started to appear over the course of the past few months in virtually every article you author talking about the use of material from a work secured under copyright law. I am left wondering if there are any circumstances where you would agree that there is clearly no argument that can be presented with a straight face that fair use is a viable defense.

      Obviously lots of things are infringing and not fair use. And, of course, we're quite fine with calling out cases where people claim fair use and we disagree: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140210/11274926167/whether-not-dumb-starbucks-is-pr-stunt-joke-r eal-its-parody-claims-are-pretty-questionable.shtml

      But, you know, actually admitting you are wrong will never happen.

      In the meantime, are you honestly arguing that 6 seconds of a 90+ minute sporting event are not likely to be fair use?

      Because, even for you, that would be ridiculous. And you seem to specialize in ridiculous statements. Of course, I know you, and now you're going to claim that, of course, you made no such statement concerning whether or not *this* was fair use. Because that's how you always act. You make some sideways statement that everyone knows exactly what you mean, but gives you an out to claim you never actually said what you obviously implied. That's why I've called you out repeatedly over the years. You always do that and think you're clever. But you're not clever at all. You just look obnoxious.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Aug 2014 @ 8:55pm

    and they're right!

    Unfortunately, however, the UK doesn't have fair use, and the entertainment industry has fought hard against allowing it, saying it would harm innovation.


    As this article clearly shows, these organizations clearly need the incentive of fewer copyright exceptions so they can continue innovating ways to piss off the most people in the least amount of the time with the largest amount of money wasted. Their failures give you material to write about, which brings in ad revenue! That's literally stealing! WHERE'S YOUR LICENSE, MASNICK?!?!

    /sarc

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jarfil, 15 Aug 2014 @ 9:47pm

    Copyright? ...that's like Trademark?

    I bet they heard about "If you don't enforce your trademark, you lose it"... and think that copyright works the same.
    It doesn't... but I'd also bet their legal dept doesn't want them to realize that, in case they also realized how much they're paying their legal dept for this silliness.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TestPilotDummy, 16 Aug 2014 @ 12:11am

    Boycott All Sports

    I boycott all US sports. Mainly cause they have deals with FEMA for the "dual use" of Arena's as FEMA CAMPS.

    International Sports. Don't make me laugh. Got problems at home, screw outside US until these oath breakers are reigned in.

    Don't make me look up all the sponsors and people behind international sports, I HATE too.

    The innocence of Sports is gone.
    Freaking Prison Schools have chain link fences where we used to play Kickball/slaughterball/football/socker/baseball/basketball/bike riding/skateboarding/dog sledding/on and on and on, now it's a FRIGGIN POLICE STATE with NANNY crybaby parents who's brainwashed by FAKE ASS psychiatrists think their big baby's have ADD, Hyperactivity, and other FALSE SCIENCE shit.

    At the Arena...
    Got Wheat In your BEER? F u
    Got FASCIST Sponsors? F u
    Got Carbon Tax in your Agenda/Programming? F u
    Communist Core? F u
    Gun Grab Delphi Agenda Fu

    And Ya wonder why I cuss.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      textgenie (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 12:53pm

      Re: Boycott All Sports

      FRIGGIN POLICE STATE with NANNY crybaby parents who's brainwashed by FAKE ASS psychiatrists think their big baby's have ADD, Hyperactivity, and other FALSE SCIENCE shit.

      At last, someone speaks up!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Sheogorath (profile), 17 Aug 2014 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re: Boycott All Sports

        @ both of you: How long would you be calling ADHD 'fake ass shit' if you'd ever suffered from hyperactivity? As they say, don't knock it till you've tried it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          trollificus (profile), 17 Aug 2014 @ 8:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: Boycott All Sports

          IF, as you imply, you have suffered from this condition, you should be first in line to decry said condition being used to redefine the normal activity, attention span and behaviors of little boys as medical conditions requiring drug treatment. Whatever you suffer from, this ongoing redefinition requires ADHD and hyperactivity being used as "fake ass shit".

          If you think that hasn't been happening...well, then, don't knock knowing what you're talking about till you've tried it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            textgenie (profile), 18 Aug 2014 @ 3:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Boycott All Sports

            Very well said. Caution is indicated when hitherto unknown social fantasies mushroom, especially in health. Otherwise imagination and fear exploited by self serving advisers and an industry which sells the supposed "cures" lead to a world of diagnosis and prescription that has little justification in research. As in this case.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 7:39pm

      Re: Boycott All Sports

      I would say that I boycott all sports, since I don't watch them (even the ones that I like). But the truth is that I'm not making a political statement, but the amount of commercialism, advertising, sponsorships, etc. make watching them completely unbearable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2014 @ 2:22am

    just another one of the entertainment industries tag-ons that thinks it's entitled to be paid for every millisecond of something that people have already paid a fortune to see!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Hij (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 2:48am

    It is about control

    This just reinforces my belief that the copyright goons care more about power than they do about money. When you let someone view "your" stuff you lose control and have less power. It is a childish quest to "have my stuff" and keep control over it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2014 @ 5:12am

    Football matches are not copyrightable

    Remember the decision a few years ago where a pub landlady was showing Premier League games via foreign satellite broadcasters? The courts in that instance ruled that a sporting event in itself is not a copyrightable work. If you ripped a section from a TV broadcast then the graphics and commentary from the broadcast might be sufficient creativity to render the programme copyrightable but the underlying sports event is not a creative work within the meaning of copyright law. So fans recording sections of the game with their mobile phone cameras could only be held liable if the ticket terms and conditions state "no filming" - breach of contract in other words.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Manabi (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 7:13am

      Re: Football matches are not copyrightable

      I wasn't aware of that case, but I can't see any way they can claim copyright on the video created by someone other than themselves. It would seem to me that the copyright holder on those Vines and other videos made with a fan's own phone just can't belong to the EPL. That case just makes that much clearer. If they're going to send takedown notices (they'll probably use the DMCA, even though they're not in the US), then they'll be lying when they say they own the copyright.

      Now they might have some kind of trademark claim over the uniforms/etc. shown in the clips. But since the vast majority of the clips will be used non-commercially, even that is pretty bogus.

      All around it just seems insanely stupid and not even what the law really allows.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Richard (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 9:30am

        Re: Re: Football matches are not copyrightable

        I think they are mainly targetting clips from the official coverage. AS you say - for clips produced by the fans themselves they have no case.

        In fact to argue in court that they have a case would be tantamount to admitting that the matches are fixed!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Beech, 16 Aug 2014 @ 6:11am

    No. I get it. They are zombies. IP protectionism is exactly like zombieism. A slowly moving, inexplicably infectious, single-minded march to grab all you want.

    A zombie shambles along single-mindedly converting everyone in it's path in it's never ending search for "braaaaaaains." It cannot be reasoned with. It cannot be told that getting a sustainable breeding population is a better long term idea.

    IP protectionists single-mindedly march onwards demanding that all their rights, real or imagined, must be protected at all costs in their never ending search for profits, moaning "Weee haaaave to proteeeect our eye-peeeeeeee." Cannot be reasoned with. Cannot be taught that perhaps pissing off the people who are giving you their money is not the best long term idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    DocGerbil100 (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 7:31am

    Sponging

    I think this is less about infringement and more about the fact that Premier League's Chief Executive - Richard Scudamore - is also the Company Director (and presumably the majority shareholder) of Football DataCo, the company paid to take down these images (and presumably being paid by the takedown).

    What's a little bad publicity compared to the chance to double-dip from the Premier League?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DNY, 16 Aug 2014 @ 7:34am

    A simple solution

    How about going back to copyright being granted to the artist or author -- in this case the fan videographer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2014 @ 7:39am

    SO I'm lost on this concept , are fans allowed to take photos while at games or is it prohibited ( just a question) and if that's the case and fans post their own are they being threatened with action ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2014 @ 9:37am

    IP = Imaginary property.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2014 @ 9:44am

    Will they be going after people who describe to their friends how a goal was scored?

    Either textually or vocally?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2014 @ 11:09am

    New Holy Wars

    "But people who insist that it must be stopped, no matter what the cost..."

    The prosecution of sin and heresy is alive and well. There are always some who approve of the Grand Inquisition.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Kaemaril (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 11:49am

    We may not have "fair use" but we do have "fair dealing", which is unfortunately a lot more restrictive than "fair use".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Richard (profile), 16 Aug 2014 @ 12:32pm

      Re:

      But in this case neither is even necessary because THERE IS NO COPYRIGHT IN SPORTING EVENTS

      REPEAT THERE IS NO COPYRIGHT IN SPORTING EVENTS

      ANy sport body claiming copyright in the event itself is admitting that the event is "fixed" - snce that is the only way that a copyright could be claimed.

      As far as the "ticket sales condition" is concerned - if you deliberately don't make any copyrightable expression in your filming then (as in the monkey case) there is no copyright for them to take off you - so the clips are in the public domain.

      I'm sorry but the premier league is trying to change the law by a process of repetition/initimidation. Thankfully the law doesn't work like that (yet).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      DerivedVariable, 18 Aug 2014 @ 8:51am

      Re:

      I was just about to mention this as well.

      I wonder if you could get it cleared under "criticism, review and news reporting". The amusing thing is since they are clips and not photographs it bypasses the biggest caveat in that section...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Fantasy Football Tips, 3 Jan 2015 @ 1:04pm

    Not all about Goals

    It's not all about the goals alone. It is the build up, the banter, the team selections, the pub, the whole entire game, more banter, the chat, the opinions - and you can't have opinions just on a 6 second goal clip!

    Hell, we find so much to write about in the build up for our fantasy football gameweek tips!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bilal, 14 Aug 2016 @ 7:25pm

    opinion

    I wonder if you could get it cleared under "criticism, review and news reporting". The amusing thing is since they are clips and not photographs it bypasses the biggest caveat in that section...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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