IT expert doubts Premier League’s Vine clampdown will be successful

Premier League attempts to clampdown on Vine videos of goals are doomed to fail due to the vast amount of clips in existence and the fact that it might not be legally possible to do so.

Related: FA Premier League issues warning to Vine goal sharers

IT expert and University of Warwick professor Mark Skilton doesn’t think that the Premier League will be successful in taking clips down due to a cloud surrounding whether the clips actually infringe copyright.

“The issue is an old one in internet terms of where copyright material that is shared through a social media or a search engine is violating the original broadcaster's terms and conditions. But does a short 15 or 30-second looping clip constitute streaming a game or providing a video service? It’s difficult to see – especially from a fan’s point of view – how this is intended to violate copyright, rather than the social network experience it is typically intended to foster,” Skilton stated.

England’s highest football league indicated it would be cracking down on the clips in the coming season and the decision has its roots in a multi-million pound deal signed by News UK to screen instant highlights on The Sun and The Times websites.

“The monetisation model in the digital world is potentially at odds with the traditional model that was based on legal contracts. Traditionally, content rights were negotiated and paid for upfront by a media company which then controlled that content. The new online world, however, is driven by the here and now, with real-time social interactions being exchanged 'live',” Skilton added.

Fans that want to watch highlights online that aren’t shared on social media have a number of different options that range from a Sun+ subscription for £8 a month to waiting for the BBC to upload Match of the Day [MOTD] and MOTD 2 to BBC iPlayer following the weekend’s games. The latter is free of charge and Skilton expects the Premier League and Sun to continue to battle to stop content being shared on social media platforms.

“We are still in the early days of the multimedia social world and these battles will rumble on as digital platforms seek to own parts of the user experience and the monetisation models from this. Meanwhile, traditional media will seek to maintain as much ownership and rights as possible,” said Skilton.

Image Credit: Flickr (Hasegawa Takashi)