Birmingham,The Stirrer, Black Country

news that matters, campaigns that count

for Birmingham, the Black Country and beyond

FOOTBALL GOING DOWN THE YOUTUBE

19-05-2007

It’s FA Cup Final weekend, and with the new Wembley staging its biggest match yet, dozens of fans will be posting their own footage after the event on the internet. But Dave Woodhall has a warning for innocent supporters who just enjoy sharing the fun of their big day out at the match.

My mate Lee recently posted some footage of Villa v Sheffield United on his Youtube account. It wasn’t nicked off another site; he’d filmed it himself.

It wasn’t even of the match - it was the Parade of Champions and the post-match lap of honour by the players.

Yet he received notification this morning that Youtube had removed the footage because they’d received “third party notification from FA Premier League” that copyright was being infringed.

The Premier League sued Youtube last week for copyright infringement, presumably because of the amount of footage from games being displayed on the site, and Youtube were forced to remove all football clips.

You, like me, are probably thinking that this is a load of petty, officious nonsense and that whoever trawls websites looking for low-quality footage taken by supporters on mobile phones should have something better to do with their time.

A similar thing occurred a couple of years ago when fan sites were told to remove club badges and fixture lists or face prosecution.

Sadly, while you’re right on the first count, the truth is that in their own minds they haven’t got anything more worthwhile they could be doing because it’s part of their job.

The Premier League, and other football authorities, employ people to ensure that their precious copyrights aren’t being infringed.

The unfortunate truth is that these people have no areas of discretion. They won’t see the difference between a few seconds of the “terrific away support” shot so badly on a camera phone that it’s nigh-on impossible to view and a counterfeit DVD sold in a car boot sale.

They can’t see that using the full force of the law to crack down on some young lad who wants to write about his football team and put their badge on a page viewed by a handful of his friends does more harm than good.

The reason is clear - money. Football is big business, it’s getting bigger and it’s also getting ever-greedier. There was a time when nobody bothered much with the odd unofficial scarf or dodgy video being sold around the ground. Now, there are entire departments set over to make sure that the clubs maximise their profits.

Football is governed by the overwhelming fear that somebody, somewhere, is being prevented from handing their last penny over to a member of the FA Premier League. And that will never do.

Meanwhile, pubs all over the country show illegally-obtained screenings of live Premiership games. Finding out where to watch your team takes a few minutes and a couple of well-placed posts on the internet. Why doesn’t the Premier League clamp down on these breaches of copyright?

Might it be because the pub companies can afford equally good lawyers?
Google

The Stirrer Forum

The Stirrer home

valid xhtml

©2006 - 2009 The Stirrer