MEPs have accepted proposals designed to combat the growing problem of the illegal retransmission of live sporting events.
They’ve called on the Commission to clarify and improve the current EU framework on intellectual property rights for live sport events, that are not currently protected by EU copyright rules. They want to introduce specific provisions to protect sports rights holders
According to the MEPs, existing rules need to be adapted to address the specific short-term value of live sport events and concrete measures should be introduced to ensure the immediate removal of illegal content, under effective safeguards.
They want for illegal streams to be removed within 30 minutes of a notification by rights holders or a certified “trusted flagger”, arguing that it’s in the first half-hour when such streams are the most harmful.
Rapporteur Angel Dzhambazki (ECR, BG) said: “The piracy of live sport events is a major challenge for sport event organisers. The problem with existing measures is that enforcement comes too late. The report calls on the Commission to clarify and adapt existing legislation, including the possibility of issuing injunctions requesting the real-time blocking of access to or removal of unauthorised online content.”
MEPs say genuine offers on sport content should also be promoted more effectively and made easier for consumers to find online. The liability for illegal broadcasts should lie with the providers of sport streams, and not with the fans or consumers.
The report was adopted with 479 votes in favour, 171 against and 40 abstentions.