England’s Premier League is a waving a red card at fans who plan on recording goals and posting the six-second clips to Vine.
That became a popular pastime for soccer fans during this summer’s World Cup, the first to be played since the 2013 launch of the Vine video-sharing service. James Rodriguez or Thomas Muller would boot the ball into the net, and within seconds, someone would post a shaky-hand replay of the goal to the delight of social media.
Well, the Premier League noticed all those Vines popping up. It saw that Twitter accounts like FootballVines have hundreds of thousands of followers. And on the eve of its 2014-15 season, it took the airwaves with a simple message aimed squarely at its fanbase: No more fun of any kind.
“You can understand that fans see something, they can capture it, they can share it, but ultimately it is against the law,” Dan Johnson, who as the Premier League’s director of communications is tasked with clamping down on everyone else’s joy, told BBC’s Newsbeat program.
The Premier League’s position is simple: broadcasters are paying it an awful lot of money for exclusive rights to show the games. In the UK, Sky Sports and BT Sport ponied up £3 billion over three years to broadcast games, while a pair of Rupert Murdoch-owned newspapers hold the online rights. Here in the States, NBC Sports is in the middle of a three-year, $250 million deal for exclusive Premier League rights. And those companies may start to wonder why they’ve written out such large checks if the stuff they're paying for pops up on Twitter for free.
So how does the Premier League plan to sniff out all those six-second instances of intellectual property theft? Johnson says the league is “developing technologies like GIF crawlers, Vine crawlers” and working with Twitter to pull any offending material.
And good luck with that. Of course, given the way technology evolves, as soon as the Premier League builds a 10-foot-wall, some enterprising fan will figure out a way to counter with an 11-foot-ladder. The Premier League season kicks off Saturday when Swansea travel to Manchester United. Expect the usual complement of GIFs and Vines to follow shortly thereafter.
This story, "The Premier League has had it up to here with all your soccer Vines" was originally published by TechHive.