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FA says NO to football tweets

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 13 Apr 2009 17:55 User comments (2)

FA says NO to football tweets The operator of FootyTweets, a website that uses Twitter to provide updates for football teams in the UK, has gotten a cease and desist threat from a firm representing the Premier League and Football Leagues copyright online. FootyTweets listed fixtures for games and also provided live updates, via Twitters, of scores and other details from football games.
From the operators blog...
If you follow me on Twitter (@ollieparsley) then you will have found out last night (2nd April) that I received a Cease and Desist notice from a company that looks after the Premier League and Football Leagues copyright online. Of course I checked that the company was legitimate and I am unhappy to say that they are legitimate.

This essentially comes from the Football DataCo (that is owned by the Premier League and Football League) via a company that looks after their online copyright.

What did it say?

The email I first received said FootyTweets was “using the UK Club Crests and League logos without permission from the Clubs or the UK Leagues“. The e-mails that then went back and forth went on to add the fact that I need a licence to display fixtures (I looked on their site and it would be £52,000!). Further to this I was told I need another licence to display match updates. I currently get this from an outside source and then send them to Twitter.

It was also mentioned that a number of clubs (I asked 3 times in separate emails who they were and the question was avoided all 3 times) and they wanted their content removed. So if they won’t tell me who the clubs are I can’t remove their content!

What do I have to change?
  • Remove all UK club logos
  • Remove all UK league logos
  • Stop match updates untill I buy a licence that will allow me to do 9 updates per match (ridiculous). But I can post all the match updates after the game is over. Don’t think thats very useful though.
  • Remove the content of some football clubs, but they won’t say which!
What have I done so far?
  • Removed the Premier League and Football League logos
  • Removed the Football Leagues from the site untill I create some copyright free logos (Championship, League One and League Two)
  • Replaced the Premier League logos with shirts that might look vaguely similar to some shirts worn in a top UK league (don’t want to get into trouble again!)
  • Disabled match updates. BUT! I have an idea for crowd sourcing match updates for you (and me), the true fans.
What I haven’t done
  • I am allowed to carry on with the news articles as normal
Why was I frustrated?

If you were reading my tweets last night you would have felt my frustration. I was so angry and frustrated I took the dog for a walk at 11:30pm. But why was I like this? Rather than bore you with paragraphs I will just list them.
  • I make no money
  • The ads on the site cover a tiny bit of other costs like hosting etc
  • I am sending the clubs a lot of traffic. In some cases thousands a month
  • I have a created a new way for them to engage their fans in a social network that they will probably not venture in to for years
  • I still have 70 club logos to make.
  • I have e-mail each club individually and ask permission to use their logo/crest.
  • I am not insulting them at all, quite the opposite. I am increasing their reach.
  • They won’t tell me the clubs that have complained. I want to know so I can talk to them about how there is not a downside to this for them.
  • They have taken an “old media” stance on this. By which I mean sending these notes rather than embracing the face that they are getting publicity. Which I consider to be backwards and not helping promote themselves as a forward thinking company and are simply "reactive" instead of "proactive".

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2 user comments

113.4.2009 18:17

Yeah, wait till they do like MLB and charge an arm and a leg for each and every little thing.
Using MLB for a similar service on SMS costs $4.00 a month (was free last year)

214.4.2009 4:47

It's a shame no doubt about it but in reality - all he was doing was exactly the same thing that the BBC, Yahoo, Eurosport, Sky and the FA do themselves on their own websites - there was nothing original about this - it was all copied from other sites. No doubt the content ( opinions ) were original but the format and layouts definitely were not.

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