Even if you didn’t watch a single World Cup match this summer, the global competition was impossible to ignore thanks to a constant stream of fan-made GIFs, Vines and more. But now, with England’s Premier League season set to kick off this weekend, it may be a bit harder for fans to share their favorite moments online.
In a recent interview, the league said it’s working with Twitter and developing its own technology to seek out illegally shared copyrighted content. Premier League director of communications Dan Johnson admitted that it’s natural for fans to want to capture a bit of the action on their phone and quickly share it online, but added that it’s actually against the law in this situation. “I know it sounds as if we’re killjoys,” he said, “but we have to protect our intellectual property.”
Basically, Sky Sports and BT Sport ponied up an unheard of £3 billion (that’s over $5 billion) to air the games, while The Sun and The Times were able to lock down the online rights. Fans will be able to catch match highlights and goal replays online just minutes after they happen, but we’re guessing we’ll still see instant replays pop up on Twitter and elsewhere online even quicker. It should be interesting to see just how quickly the Premier League can stamp out those illegal online videos.