Five Things English Football Would Copyright If They CouldBy: Daryl | April 17th, 2009
It all started with fixture lists. Fans thought it was OK to publish their team’s fixture list, English football clubs thought otherwise. The clubs won because they have a well paid legal team – Football Data Co – doing their dirty work.
If English football authorities can make a copyright or licensing claim on something – anything – then they will. And the worst is yet to come. What follows is a (made up, just so we’re clear) memo from Football Data Co. that will soon be sent to all English football fans…
Suckers English football fans,
Thanks for all your money these past few years, we’ve really enjoyed it. But we want more. So we’ve been busy inventing new ways to squeeze cash out of you through legal means. Please be aware of the following five newly licensed properties:
1. The word “Goal!”™
We hold exclusive rights for all English language celebrations using the word “Goal!”™. If football fans wish to use the aforementioned word when their team scores, said fan must purchase a “celebration license”. Cost is £1.99 per celebration and only available in packs of 20. For fans without a license it is acceptable/encouraged to shout or “Barclays!” or “Coca-Cola!” We may let you get away with “Gol!” provided a convincing Spanish accent is used.
2. Unauthorized commentary.
Any attempt to verbally describe events from a football match that is less than 30 days old will be subject to a copyright claim from Football Data Co. Doesn’t matter whether it’s on Twitter or in the pub with your mates. By describing the action – which we own, by the way – you are jeopardizing the licensing rights of our official broadcast partners, not to mention stepping all over Andy Gray’s cabbage patch.
3. Team colours
We can’t copyright “red” or “blue”, but we can copyright the exact shade of that colour worn by each football team. Any clothes worn between August and May featuring these colours (eg “Liverpool Red”) will be subject to a £50 on the spot fine. Official club merchandise is exempt of course, but we’re doubling the price of scarves for winter.
4. Player names
The image rights to all professional players are taken very seriously, and this includes players’ names. Only licensed partners can call a player by name, everyone else must describe him without explicitly saying who they’re talking about. Think of it like a big game of charades.
5. The YouTube inside your head
We’re busy taking down all the football highlights from YouTube, but we’ve recently become aware of a second source of video highlights inside your head. We believe you call them “memories”. We call them “unlicensed broadcasts” and you’ll be receiving a cease and desist letter any day now.