Friday, April 17, 2009

Can Football DataCo Really Control ALL Soccer News?

Football DataCo is the company which acts as a copyright watchdog for the FA Premier League, Football League, Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League.  Unlike  other professional sports, Football DataCo is now actively serving cease and desist letters to many sites, simply for updating fans and users about soccer game scores and team news.  Twitter is even on the Football DataCo's list.  The watchdog company is claiming that Twitter users are not allowed to "tweet" soccer scores or give updates of scores without paying an annual fee, and agreeing to limit the tweets relating to game scores to 9 per match.

My question is, how can this be possible?  I understand that that the leagues and teams have rights and royalties associated with their name, likeness, and logo's but come on, this is the digital era and fans should be able to communicate to others and tell each other game scores, without having to pay a yearly subscription to support some company who shouldn't exist in the first place.  We pay enough as it is to Comcast and Direct TV to get FOX Soccer Channel, GOL and other soccer channels. 

It is amazing to me that the EPL and other Soccer leagues have not embraced the current wave of the Internet.  This will only make it harder for them to integrate other ideas and connect with users as the digital age gets stronger.

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