EU: infringing FIFA & UEFA IP rights?

imagesCA4CMG67As it is well known, Football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA  went earlier this year to the to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), to  complain that by placing restrictions on how they can sell broadcast rights to all matches contested in the World Cup and European Championship finals respectively, the EU is  committing an infringement of their rights to property.

FIFA and UEFA were in fact appealing  CJEU’s judgment of 17 February 2011 in the Case T‑385/07 FIFA v Commission,  by which the General Court confirmed the validity of  EU Decision in that regard.620340-avec-lionel-messi-normalite-pris

Under EU television broadcasting laws, member states may prevent broadcasters from showing “on an exclusive basis” any events that they consider to be “of major importance for society in such a way as to deprive a substantial proportion of the public in that Member State of the possibility of following such events via live coverage or deferred coverage on free television”. 

FIFA and UEFA were contesting UK and Belgium rights to prevent all the matches in the World Cup
and European Championships from being sold to broadcasters on an exclusive basis.

In response  of FIFA’s and UEFA’s  complain, advocate general AG Jääskinen representing these EU Members, replied in court that the UK and other EU member states should be free to decide the sporting events they think should be broadcast on free-to-air television.He urged that the CJEU reject claims by football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA.

The Advocate general arguments are essentially based on  legal technicalities. The  CJEU is (officially)  not bind by the advocate general opinion, but…

Please click here to read the document.

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