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Fixtures List Free For All!

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 12/11/2004

THE European court of justice have ruled that the Premier League and Football League, who demand payment from the media and pools to publish fixture lists and match information, cannot do so under current law.

The ECJ were asked to clarify a number of points in the law, and after doing so ruled, that companies who invest substantial amounts of money to collect data are protected under the database rights directive.

But the Premier and Football Leagues do not conform with the directive as they "Do not require any particular effort on their part to collect the data" but instead have invested in "creating the data rather than collecting it."

Currently the Premier and League are at loggerheads with the newspapers regarding the new arrangements that should have been in force a month ago. The media are not happy with the new proposed rules and threatened a press blackout unless it was resolved in a mutually acceptable agreement.

Both the Premier and the Football League have the right to appeal the findings but, in the meantime, it looks like a free for all and the media will be celebrating this win which will cost the leagues jointly approximately 100 million pounds.

But, they have charged over the top for their use previously and it is those high charges that have brought the current impasse and the court ruling.

In other words, they have dug their own grave.

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