- FAPL cannot claim copyright in the Premier League matches themselves, as they cannot be classified as works [para 96];
- Sporting events as such may be nonetheless protected by the various domestic legal orders [para 100], possibly by means of related rights, as this Kat understands it to be the case in France;
- In any case FAPL can assert copyright in various works contained in the broadcasts of its matches, that is to say, in particular, the opening video sequence, the Premier League anthem, pre-recorded films showing highlights of recent Premier League matches, or various graphics [para 149];
- Broadcasters can invoke the right of fixation of their broadcasts which is provided for in Article 7(2) of the Related Rights Directive, the right of communication of their broadcasts to the public which is laid down in Article 8(3) of that directive, and the right to reproduce fixations of their broadcasts which is confirmed by Article 2(e) of the InfoSoc Directive [para 150].
- Whether a film extract showing a particular action during a match, say a goal, is protected by copyright and
- If so, whether unauthorised use by means of reproduction, communication to the public and possibly distribution, may nonetheless be permitted for Twitter users and alike under one of UK copyright exceptions, notably news reporting. On the point of news reporting, it is worth recalling that the situation is different for broadcasters. Directive 2007/65 requires Member States to guarantee the right of broadcasters to make short news reports on events of high interest to the public which are subject to exclusive broadcasting rights, without the holders of such a right being able to demand compensation exceeding the additional costs directly incurred in providing access to the signal.
|A busy schedule |
goalkeeper by day ...
|... compulsive |
twitterer by night
This conclusion is also supported by the consideration that social networking sites like Twitter have become the ultimate newswires, even supplanting AP, Dow Jones and Bloomberg for breaking news, and also freedom of expression concerns have become particularly pressing. In this respect, reliance on provisions like Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights might be fairly effective [see the recent take of Birss J here] to avoid a narrow construction of section 30 defence which - as even the Court of Appeal of England and Wales in Ashdown acknowledged - "reflect[s] freedom of expression in that, in the specific circumstances set out and provided that there is ‘fair dealing’, freedom of expression displaces the protection that would otherwise be afforded to copyright."