English Football Still Terrified of YouTube (and the internet in general)By: Daryl | April 16th, 2009
Double-barrelled BBC Technology blogger Rory Cellan-Jones was the victim/culprit. He recorded 37 seconds of League Two’s Brentford vs Exeter City on a handheld camera last weekend and then uploaded it to YouTube. Roughly two days later, his YouTube video had been deleted and replaced with the message “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by The Football League Limited.”
You might be thinking “So what? Football footage is removed from YouTube all the time.” Which is true, but it’s usually TV footage. In that case, the takedown is somewhat justified (pointless, but still justified) on the grounds that the footage belongs to the TV company that broadcast it.
In this case Rory Cellan-Jones recorded the footage himself. Seems the copyright claim is really a licensing rights claim, with The Football League arguing they sold the rights to Sky and ITV, and that Cellan-Jones is somehow jeopardizing that deal. I haven’t seen the video (obviously) but think we can assume that Cellan-Jones’ footage was of the shaky handheld non-broadcast quality variety, unless Cellan-Jones is some sort of genius one-man professional camera crew.
Maybe this is a pre-emptive strike from the authorities? Technology (both camera and internet) is improving at a dizzying pace, so we’re probably not a million years away from fans being able to stream live footage of a game to the internet via their camera/phone. Imagine being able to open up a justin.tv style site and watch live fan recorded footage? Production values wouldn’t be top of the agenda, but it would still give the Premier League, Football League, Sky Sports, ITV and others immediate heart-attacks.
If (when?) that happens, I’m sure the powers that be will try their best to shut it down. But they won’t succeed. Because every time they do close something down, something else pops up in its place. It’s like a giant game of Whac-a-Mole, only the game keeps getting bigger and harder as technology progresses. Good luck with that then.