The case of Premier League’s victory over Wiziwig, a site which violated copyright infringement by providing illegal streams of English football games, highlights the difficulty faced by the former, which finds itself in a constant battle to remove the many streaming websites shared among football fans. The cost of accessing live coverage continues to rise, with media companies such as Sky and BT Sports looking to get a return on their investments in the TV rights, resulting in football fans being unable to afford live coverage at home and ultimately turning to unofficial streaming sites. What’s more, the rise in usage of social media enables fans to share stream details very quickly. As one is taken down, another replaces it just as quickly.
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Supporters need to be aware of the legal consequences of sharing copyrighted content. The Premier League also needs to be wary of the risks streaming sites pose to their intellectual property. Links to infringing content can spread rapidly and divert revenue away from official channels. High profile cases such as this one help to warn consumers of the legal risks when sharing content online. However, ultimately the responsibility falls to businesses and organisations to monitor the web for intellectual property infringements so that illegal sites can be taken down.
By Stuart Fuller, Director of Commercial Operations, NetNames
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