You know the saying, some things go together like peas and carrots, or peanut butter and jelly, or IP and Sports… Yes, you heard that right! On April 26, 2019, in honor of World Intellectual Property Day, the Copyright Alliance – in conjunction with the Creative Rights Caucus (CRC) –will host an event to provide the play-by-play details on the tremendous role intellectual property rights (and copyright, in particular) have in the sports world. In fact, the event will feature a number of savvy organizations and speakers who will share the ins and outs of how sports and copyright are intertwined, and the challenges faced in ensuring that copyright protections effectively protect their creativity and investments.
Illicit Streaming: Networks invest enormous amounts of money to obtain the rights to broadcast sporting events and to provide fans with high-quality content. In fact, one of the most watched yearly programs on television is the Super Bowl, with Super Bowl XILX being the most watched show in U.S. History. And sports fans today are rapidly consuming this content through different technologies and digital media channels. They can live stream sporting events from the convenience of their phones and other devices whenever and wherever they like. Unfortunately, these great developments in streaming technology have also led to an increase in online piracy incidents. For broadcasters, piracy limits their ability to be fairly compensated for their work and investment. When broadcasts are pirated, it dilutes the incentive to broadcast the game in the first place because the broadcaster loses money in terms of advertising revenue. This could lead to fewer broadcasts over time.So, what can be done to mitigate the instances of illicit streaming when it comes to sporting events?
Pirating Creative Assets: Piracy is not a problem that’s related solely to streaming. Patrick Smith, a seasoned sports photographer with Getty Images, stated that he has seen some of his copyrighted photographs pirated on social media sites within 60 seconds of being published. Many individuals and organizations – including Patrick and Getty Images – depend on copyright to protect their livelihoods. So, what can sports photographers (and other creators) do when their work is stolen online?
“Knock-off” Goods: Sports teams and their partners diligently protect fans and other consumers from counterfeit and fraudulent sports products, including jerseys, memorabilia and tickets, many of which are advertised and sold online. But what happens when “bad actors” break the law, and try to lure in consumers by selling illegal items online… what can be done to thwart these efforts? And what should consumers do to protect themselves?
These issues and questions (and much more) will be addressed during the upcoming panel discussion, hosted by the Copyright Alliance on April 26. Event panelists include:
-Moderator, Maggie Linton, award-winning broadcaster
-Curtis LeGeyt, Executive VP Government Relations, National Association of Broadcasters;
-Delara Derakhshani, Counsel Tech Policy, Entertainment Software Association;
-Dolores DiBella, Vice President, Legal Affairs, National Football League;
-Michael Bynum, renowned Sports Writer;
-Patrick Smith, award-winning Getty Images staff photographer;
-Ray Warren, President, Telemundo Deportes; and
We want to take a minute to thank all of our participants for their time, efforts, and making this event a hit out of the park.
Intellectual Property and sports share the same values of respect and fair-play. It only makes sense that they go hand in hand. Today, we celebrate that the fascination we have with sports is thanks in large part to the creativity, hard work, and investments that intellectual property affords them.