Football Fans Warned As Premier League Clamp Down On GIFs And Vines Of Match Highlights Being Posted Online

Chris Wright

15th, August 2014


By Chris Wright

Soccer - Pre Season Friendly - Everton v Real Betis - Goodison Park

Last season saw a bit of breakthrough in terms of Premier League footage appearing online, with social media-savvy football fans posting grainy Vines and GIFs online filmed directly from their televisions within seconds of the action actually having taken place.

As you can imagine, it was a bit of a boon for sites like Pies, but understandably the Premier League themselves are taking measures ahead of the 2014/15 season to try and stop the illegal practice as they attempt to clamp down on the free distribution of their heavily copyrighted footage.

Speaking to the BBC, the Premier League’s director of communications Dan Johnson 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.”

“I know it sounds as if we’re killjoys but we have to protect our intellectual property.”

Both The Sun and The Times websites have paid a substantial amount of money to show Premier League highlights online and via their subscription-based mobile apps – meaning unlimited access to free Vines and GIFs via Twitter and the like would seriously undermine the money they’ve spent on purloining rights.

When you also consider that the Premier League received an almost inconceivable £3billion from Sky Sports and BT Sport in exchange for the rights to show their games for three seasons the last time a TV deal was hammered out, it’s perfectly understandable that the league should do their utmost to protect their ridiculously lucrative commodity.

We appreciate it’s hard to feel any sympathy for the conglomerates at the top of the food chain, but at least it seems that the Premier League are going about it in the right way: not by threatening enormous law suits against all and sundry like tyrannical overlords, but by attempting to reason with fans and explain their stance.

That’s something, right? Right?

Not that we imagine for one iota that this warning is going to stop fans from finding some new way to distribute clips and highlights online next season.

The internet finds a way.

Posted in GIFs, Media, Newsnow, Vine

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  1. Supervillan says:

    This must be a joke right? The fact that you’re trying to justify this bullshit sickens me. You lot are always happy to moan about the fact that football is now a business and clubs a brand but then you go and post some grovelling crap like this! Someone’s recieved a sternly worded email methinks. Does this mean you will no longer be posting user submitted vines/GIFs? I hope not, otherwise your website will just be full of shit like “ooh doesn’t Michael Laudrup look like Basshunter?” Don’t kowtow to the man. Football is owned by the fans, the people who fork out innordinate amounts of money to attend games (well, not me coz I’m a Villa fan) and those who can’t attend regularly pay through the nose for subscriptions to various media outlets just to watch the same old bullshit week in week out. Top four clubs taking precedent over everyone else and the smaller clubs lucky if they get 5 or 6 televised games per season. The people recording/submitting this stuff are paying to view it in the first place and the people who go online to find grainy footage of a dodgy penalty decision are the kind of people who never will, so what is the fucking problem!? You really are hippocrites of the highest order for posting this guff. C’mon pies, I expect better from you, you should be as angry about this as I am but instead you write this weak shit trying to placate the media moguls that run the show. Newscorp making a bid for Anorak are they? Get off Murdoch’s multi-directional barbed marsupial dick and make a stand. Soppy bastards. Still pissed so apologies if this reads badly but fuck me!!!!!!!

    • Chris says:

      @Supervillan: We admire your stoic, earthy romanticism, but football – at least at Premier League level – most definitely does not belong to the fans, it belongs to those who pay billions of pounds to own it.

      Fans are seen and treated as traffic, foot-fall and/or customers when it comes down to brass tacks.

  2. Supervillan says:

    @Chris: A fact that you seem all to happy to accept. How sad.

  3. Bob says:

    @Chris: Saying ‘that’s just the way it is’ never solved anything.

  4. Chris says:

    Peoples game my arse.

  5. Ben says:

    You cannot own the idea of football.

    If I pay 50 quid to go to a game, and film a goal on my phone, then put it on the internet, I can get sued?

    What a joke.

  6. Fat Nakago says:

    @Supervillian @Bob I get the impression that Chris Wright is simply reporting the facts of the matter rather than actually siding with the Prem and their imperialist running dogs. Heh. No obviously it begs the questions of what’s hidden behind the “pure reportage” since a lot of what is reported here (that is to say, everything) has some fairly blatant comedic purpose (dark or slapstick) slapped all over it like frosting on a cake. That this reportage is a bit more barebones, it give me the impression that by reading between the lines, the intrepid report seems to be inviting us to raise our middle finger to the Prem and give their nattering nabobs and marketing/PR wankers the end around.

    Here in the States, the NFL reigns supreme and believe me when I tell you that THEY protect their brand more vociferously than the Prem protects theirs. Yet, there are plenty of gifs and Vines on many of the equally irreverent blogs, like Kissing Suzy Kolber, for example which are the NFL equivalent of Pies. Allowing such irreverance is actually good marketing.

    As Chris said, “The internet FINDS A WAY.” So…suck it up, buttercups, and do the end around.

    @Supervillian Here is good ol, Wisconsin USA! USA!! USA!!! I can watch EVERY single Premier League game. Which means I can watch EVERY Villa ((I won’t)) game, or every Burnley game ((Morbid curiosity might get me to watch a few)) and so on thank to NBC which broadcasts every game on its various channels and on Live Extra. I will watch 2 Villa games this season since they play Chelsea twice.

    But fock the Prem. Grow some Vines. And as always, KTBFFH!!

  7. Rob says:

    Am I allowed to describe the action to my friend who wasn’t there or will I get arrested?

  8. Joe Yank says:

    Recording this broadcast without the expressed written consent of the NFL is illegal

  9. Bob says:

    @Fat Nekago: Satire doesn’t have to be defeatist

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