Rugby World Cup sending cease and desist notes to Periscope over live match videos

Giant Rugby Ball, Centenary Square Birmingham, September 2015 by Elliott Brown

The Rugby World Cup is submitting copyright notices to Periscope for allegedly hosting videos relating to the tournament taking place in England.

Chilling Effects, a website that collects cease and desist letters about online content, records a number of notices sent to the video app concerning apparent recordings from the tournament, most of which read as follows:

“We write on behalf of Rugby World Cup Limited (“RWCL”), who owns and controls all rights associated with the conduct, promotion and management of the Rugby World Cup. As you may be aware, the finals for the next Rugby World Cup are taking place in England from 18 September to 31 October 2015 (the “Tournament”).

“We have noticed that your website, , is displaying, promoting and/or offering audio, visual and/or audio-visual content from the Tournament. You should be aware that this content is protected by copyright law and that RWCL owns all rights in such content.”

The tournament’s notices are part of a broader trend in live events in which companies seek to stop fans broadcasting, which the organisers’ presumably feel will dent the value of the broadcasting rights sold the large media groups.

Periscope, which is owned by the social network Twitter, is fielding other notices from sporting organisations such as the Premier League and the National Football League in the United States, as well as from musician Taylor Swift.

Critics of the rights holders will no doubt note that Periscope videos expire after twenty four hours, and the quality of the images, which are taken through smartphones, compare unfavourably to the professional efforts of event organisers.

What Periscope plans to do to resolve this is unclear, though the company has been contacted by the Right Dishonourable for comment on the matter, as has the Rugby World Cup to ask it to justify what appears to be overzealous actions.

Image Credit – Giant Rugby Ball, Centenary Square Birmingham, September 2015 by Elliott Brown

Jimmy Nicholls
Writes somewhat about British politics and associated matters. Contact

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