The Football Association Premier League
The Football Association Premier league is the top flight football tournament in England. It is administered by the Football Association Premier League and is regulated by the English Football Association.
The Fixture List
The fixture list is created initially by a computer generated system and then through consultation with the clubs and then produced prior to the season beginning.
Copyright protection in the fixture list
All of the FA Premier League fixtures are protected by copyright under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1998 and are owned by the FA Premier League. If you wish to reproduce the fixture list or any part of it on your website or in your publication the Football Association would expect you to pay a licence fee for the use of this information.
Websites and publications reproducing the fixture list
You will see many publications including websites and print publications reproducing the FA Premier League fixture list. These websites and publications will all have paid for the licence fee which is expected to be around £250.
Are there any websites and publications which do not need to pay for the licence fee?
The official websites of the clubs participating in the FA Premier League will not be required to pay for a licence fee for the use of the fixture lists.
Furthermore if you produce a website or a publication which is an officially nominated fanzine for a particular club you will not be required to pay a licence fee for the use of the fixture list. If you operate a fanzine but are not nominated as an official club fanzine you can post a link of your website to your clubs official site.
What happens if I do not have a licence?
If you do not have a licence to print the fixture list there is no provision under UK law for any fixtures to appear in advance of the match being played. If you mention more than one fixture this will not be accepted and you will be found to be in breach of Copyright laws.
Can I mention just one fixture?
In order to infringe copyright protection you must have reproduced a substantial part of the work. Simply mentioning a fixture in an article or on a website prior to or after the match will not constitute a substantial part of the work. It is thought that however, more than one match will be deemed to be a substantial part of the work.
Are there any other rights which may protect a fixture list under UK law?
In 2004 a decision was made in relation to football fixture lists being protected under the European Union Database right.
What is the European Union Database Right?
A database is protected under the Copyright and Rights in Databases Regulations 1997 in relation to a database where there had been substantial investment in obtaining verifying or presenting the contents of the database.
For more information on:
- What happened in this case?
- What should I do if I wish to reproduce any aspects of the fixture list?