YouTube showing football footage and Premier League copyright

Copyright of broadcasts

When something such as a football match is broadcast that broadcast will be protected by copyright under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1989. This means that if another body makes a copy of that broadcast and seeks to publish this through another means then they should be in breach of that copyright protection.

To infringe the copyright held in any protected works under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act it is imperative to show that the individual infringing acted in a way in which only the person who holds the copyright protection in that work may act.


What is YouTube?

YouTube is a website which is run by the internet giants Google. It is effectively a file sharing website as it enables individuals to upload video files and other individuals to view these files. There are terms and conditions as to what may be uploaded by people but often this is extremely difficult for the site to police considering the huge amount of files uploaded to the site on a daily basis.

What kinds of videos should not be uploaded to the site?

Videos which show such things as excessive violence or sexual content will be in breach of the terms and conditions of YouTube and should not be uploaded to the site.

What action will YouTube take if these kinds of videos are uploaded to the site?

If the individuals in charge of the site become aware of certain content being uploaded to the site then they will remove this content. If they deem a particular user to be in continual breach of the terms and conditions of the site then it may be likely that they will prevent them from using the site at all.

Can I access Premier League content on the website?

Often following certain high profile Premier League football matches individuals will upload short clips of goals and highlights to the website to be viewed by other people.

Why would the Premier League have a problem with this as it does not affect their live broadcast?

It may be the case that small clips or highlights being uploaded onto YouTube following a Premier League football match does not affect the live showing of the match but it does have an effect on some rights held by the FA Premier League.

For example the FA Premier League will wish to sell small packages of highlights to certain media providers so that they can be accessed online or through mobile phones.

Unlock this article now!


For more information on:

  • Will YouTube be in breach of the Premier League’s rights?
  • What did the court decide in this case?
  • What was the reason for this decision?
  • What can we draw from this case?
  • What happens if it becomes aware of its existence and does not remove it?
  • Upon whom is the duty to identify the following material?
  • Would the same decision be found under the Copyright laws of England and Wales?