updated 06:28 am EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Sharing of soccer goals via Vine, social networks claimed as a breach of copyright
Fans of soccer in the United Kingdom have been warned against the creation and sharing of animated GIFs and Vine clips of goals for high-level matches. The Premier League claims it is working on ways to trawl the Internet for football goal clips and to warn creators of the breach of copyright, just one day before the new season is set to start in the country.
Speaking to BBC News, Premier League director of communications Dan Johnson acknowledged the fans' compulsion to post clips online, but advised the practice is ultimately 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 curtail this activity."
"I know it sounds as if we're killjoys but we have to protect our intellectual property," said Johnson. Currently, publications The Sun and The Times have the online rights to show footage, requiring a monthly fee for access, with deputy head of sport for The Sun Dean Scoggins claiming "we've obviously signed a very big deal with the Premier League to be a rights holder and to show it, we've got legal teams talking with them about what we can do. Though how much the two publications have paid for the online rights is unknown, broadcasters Sky Sports and BT Sport paid £3 billion ($5 billion) to show live matches for three seasons over Internet streams and through TV channels.
The crackdown on the clips follows after the World Cup, which saw fans posting video clips and GIFs from matches within seconds of their occurrence to social networks.