Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Earlier this year, I posted a listing of Fulham FC's matches for the 2008-2009 season. I gleaned the information I posted from Fulham's own fixture list.

Well, yesterday I recieved the following email from the Blogger Support Team:
Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that certain content in your blog infringes upon the copyrights of others. The URL(s) of the allegedly infringing post(s) may be found at the end of this message.

The notice that we received from Football Data Co Limited, with any personally identifying information removed, will be posted online by a service called Chilling Effects at We do this in accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Please note that it may take Chilling Effects up to several weeks to post the notice online at the link provided.

The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines foronline service provider liability in case of copyright infringement.Please see for more information about the DMCA, and see for the process that Blogger requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.

We are asking that you please remove the allegedly infringing content inyour blog. If you do not do this within the next 3 days (by 12/5/08), we will be forced to remove the posts in question. If we did not do so, we would be subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits.

Blogger can reinstate these posts upon receipt of a counter notification pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and 3) of the DMCA. For more information about the requirements of a counter notification and a link to a sample counter notification, see

Please note that repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in further remedial action taken against your Blogger account. If you have legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal counsel. If you have any other questions about this notification, please let us know.

Sincerely, The Blogger Team

Affected URLs:
Now, I am not in the habit of violating copyrights and I scrupulously try to make sure my sources are linked or at least referred to in all of my posts. So when I looked up the allegedly offending post, I wondered what about the post was so offensive, after all it was simply a list of the Premier League matches that Fulham was going to play in the season and my thoughts on their chances for avoiding relegation.

So I had to do a little research on Football DataCo Limited, and here is what I found:
Football DataCo Ltd is a British company in the football (soccer) industry that grants licences to third parties (such as newspapers) allowing them to reproduce certain intellectual property (such as fixture lists and statistics) owned by the FA Premier League, The Football League, the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League. See website

Many of Football DataCo's activities are contracted out to the Press Association (PA). Thus, PA Sport handles applications for and distributes fixture lists and produces the Actim statistics service on behalf of Football DataCo.

Football DataCo is wholly owned by FA Premier League and The Football League.

DataCo charges a standard fee for the reproduction of Fixture lists, which currently stands at: £266 plus VAT to print the fixtures of one English club.
So the Premier League is so hungry for money they would charge me "£266 plus VAT" that is Value Added Tax to publish a list of games on this site. That would come to about $500 plus tax!!

Seriously, this is going a bit too far. It is a calendar for goodness sakes, and not even a good one at that. I can talk about the fixtures, I can analyze the games, I can even talk about the difficulty of certain stretches of the schedule, but I can't put out the entire list? It is rubbish.

I posted this on the "offending" post:
Pursuant to an alleged copyright infringement asserted by Football Data Co Limited, the British Company that claims it owns the licensing business to publish the fixture list for football clubs, I have removed the listing of fixtures for Fulham's 2008-2009 Season. Football Data Co Limited charges up to £290 to buy a license to publish a list of 38 scheduled games for one Premier League Club. Simply put, it is extortion of thw lowest degree. While I obtained my list from the Fulham FC website, I find it stupid in the extreme that a club fan cannot publish a list of the clubs games when that club publishes the list themselves. I sincerely hope that Fulham and every other club in England don't have to pay extra to Football Data Co Limited to publish their own playing schedule.
Bollocks to them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Just wrestling with this one myself.

There was an ECJ ruling in 2004 that sugests that they have no database rights over the fixture list since basically there is no additional work carried out over that involved in the creation of the list (and creation does not qualify for protection). This appears to be confirmed in questions to the minister in Hansard who refers to a voluntary agreement for payment between the gambling industry and Football Dataco.

They then refer back to a 1959 copyright case against Littlewoods. Basically this means that you cannot publish the fixture list "as is".

What you definately can do is:
* Comment on a forthcoming match in a single match preview form.
* Publish results after the fact.

And what I speculate that you "should" be able to do is speculate about the results of matches over the course of the season, I would have thought even the entire list of matches, providing you do not tie it to the time and place. This is essentially public knowledge based upon the results of the previous season. I'm not a lawyer however...

Basically what Football Dataco seem to be doing is trying to target the gambling and press sectors to protect value that the league is creating and that thee sectors are piggybacking on. According to the terms of the license there should be a displayed copyright notice on any fixture list licensed from them as on the BBC site (can't see it on Sky).

Targetting bloggers is perhaps not the right way to win friends.

Hope this helps (ps there is a clarification letter from them posted at