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SBD Global/November 13, 2013/Media

Premier League Drops Copyright Infringement Case Against YouTube

Following "a six-and-a-half-year crusade," the Premier League "has walked away from its long-running legal battle over copyright infringement with the Google-owned video-sharing website YouTube," according to Owen Gibson of the London GUARDIAN. According to documents filed in N.Y., the Premier League, the French Tennis Federation and several music publishers "have agreed to drop the legal case, which was launched in 2007." The move "is likely to lead to clubs being able to use the platform to show delayed highlights of their matches on their own YouTube channels." While the court case was ongoing, "they had been prevented from showing any on-pitch action and limited to behind-the-scenes videos and interviews." Under the terms of the "voluntary dismissal," both sides "will pay their own costs." The Premier League "refused to comment but is likely to refocus its attention on taking legal action against live streaming websites that present an obvious threat to its broadcasting revenues" (GUARDIAN, 11/11). SOCCEREX reported the EPL "has been ramping up its activity in combating content piracy." Indeed, the league last week "hailed a 'significant win' after the Federation Against Copyright Theft secured a successful conviction against a website that had been illegally streaming live games." The "individual responsible received a two-year custodial sentence for fraud, the first time a prison term had been handed down to someone illegally exploiting the Premier League’s rights." The league’s legal department "worked with FACT from January 2012 to secure the prosecution against the site, which had 10,000 plus subscribers" each paying £29.99 ($40) a month "to access an illegal stream of pay-television broadcaster Sky Sports’ coverage of Premier League matches" (SOCCEREX, 11/12).
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