Fixtures row going to European Union’s highest court


yahoo-fixturesIn the gambling industry you’re used to court cases that can drag on for years and years on end, but if anyone can find a case more ludicrous than that involving British football fixtures I’ll gladly run around the capital naked – not that I don’t do that on a Sunday evening anyhow.

When it comes to football around the globe it’s big business. The World Cup is watched in pretty much every country in the world and I’ve heard the people over on Mars are calling Rupert Murdoch every day to ask for a satellite dish so they can watch it. That being the case, you wouldn’t have though there would be any problem with a list of dates being published by certain companies. That seems to be what Yahoo have done wrong though.

The case, which was heard at the Court of Appeal in London, has now been sent to the European Union’s highest court, after judges ruled that it needed clarification of aspects of EU copyright to continue with the case. April saw the complainant, Football DataCo Ltd., claim a victory when the information was ruled as subject to “database copyright” law.

The EU court ruled in 2004 that U.K. William Hill could copy data on horse racing and soccer without seeking permission after a court had ruled the same way back then, so we’ve been here before.

Sorry, but if I’ve missed something here it would be illegal to publish the following:

Manchester United v Arsenal, Monday 13 December, 20:00 (better leave it with a strikethrough just to be safe).

Researching it further, we found that it would cost you £4,244 to display the fixtures in chronological order for the Premier League alone. The only way to get around this will probably be to make witty names for all the teams in the Premier League. What are they going to do then, sue you for impersonation?