Premier League warns fans not to post match footage on Vine

Vine: users are posting illegal match footage
Vine: users are posting illegal match footage

The Premier League has said uploading unofficial video of its games online is illegal, and that it will step up monitoring on social media

Football fans have been cautioned by the Premier League against sharing videos of goals online, after thousands uploaded memorable shots from the World Cup.

The league said posting unofficial match videos was a breach of copyright, and that it would monitor social media for illegal footage. It highlighted Vine, the short-video service owned by Twitter, as a particular area for concern.

Vine users can shoot and post short, looping videos online using their phones, with each lasting about six seconds. A quick search for Premier League footage on Vine brings up hundreds of accounts, many of which have thousands of followers. One account featuring goal clips, Best of Sports, has almost 30,000 followers. The attendant biog states "I don't own any of these clips", suggesting that at least some users are well aware of the copyright issues.

"You can understand that fans see something, they can capture it, they can share it, but ultimately it is against the law," the Premier League’s director of communications, Dan Johnson, told BBC's Newsbeat programme.

"It's a breach of copyright and we would discourage fans from doing it, we're developing technologies like gif crawlers, Vine crawlers, working with Twitter to look to curtail this kind of activity," he added. "I know it sounds as if we're killjoys but we have to protect our intellectual property."

One reason for the clampdown is the demands from rights-holders, with Sky Sports and BT Sport having forked out £3bn to show three seasons of live Premier League football. The Sun and The Times own the online rights; both charge for subscriptions. The former told the BBC it was in discussions with the Premier League to discuss the problem of illegal footage.

Twitter, meanwhile, said Vine users "may not post content that violates the rights of a third party".

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