Related rights for broadcasters of sporting events

The rights of broadcasters also have a very specific importance in relation to sports programmes. In many countries, a sports programme would not be considered eligible for copyright protection. There are countries, and the US is a prime example, that regards a football match, when it is filmed, as an audiovisual work, because it is considered sufficiently creative to be a work. But in many other countries, the law provides that the game is the determining factor, and therefore it is not creative to the point of qualifying for protection. The cameraman is merely following the action on the pitch and other incidental events. He might be a skilled manipulator of the camera, but he is not an artist. Very few such broadcasts, therefore, would be considered worthy of protection. And yet there is enormous interest in, say, the television rights for the Olympic Games. Millions or billions of dollars, pounds, euros, francs or yen can change hands. But it would be an unattractive investment, would it not, if those broadcasters, having paid enormous sums of money years in advance for an exclusive license to broadcast, or for exclusive access to other major sporting events for the benefit of a given broadcasting area, were unable to invoke the protection offered by their related rights to prevent other companies from rebroadcasting their work or recording and selling videos of it?

Thus, these examples illustrate the reasons why the groups concerned, namely performers, phonogram producers and broadcasters, have been made eligible for related rights.

The rights of broadcasters also have a very specific importance in relation to sports programmes. In many countries, a sports programme would not be considered eligible for copyright protection. There are countries, and the US is a prime example, that regards a football match, when it is filmed, as an audiovisual work, because it is considered sufficiently creative to be a work. But in many other countries, the law provides that the game is the determining factor, and therefore it is not creative to the point of qualifying for protection. The cameraman is merely following the action on the pitch and other incidental events. He might be a skilled manipulator of the camera, but he is not an artist. Very few such broadcasts, therefore, would be considered worthy of protection. And yet there is enormous interest in, say, the television rights for the Olympic Games. Millions or billions of dollars, pounds, euros, francs or yen can change hands. But it would be an unattractive investment, would it not, if those broadcasters, having paid enormous sums of money years in advance for an exclusive license to broadcast, or for exclusive access to other major sporting events for the benefit of a given broadcasting area, were unable to invoke the protection offered by their related rights to prevent other companies from rebroadcasting their work or recording and selling videos of it?Thus, these examples illustrate the reasons why the groups concerned, namely performers, phonogram producers and broadcasters, have been made eligible for related rights.

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