The FA Premier League (FAPL) have contacted us, claiming copyright on future Premier League fixtures
and asking us to remove them from this page.
We have not done so, believing their claim to be faulty for the following reasons.
We have asked the FAPL to explain their claim in the light of the 2 observations
above and they have failed to supply any answers. The only information they have said
that they can provide (but which has not yet arrived) is a copy of a document transferring
copyright from the computer company which generated the fixtures. This may show that, if
anyone holds the copyright on the fixtures, it is the FAPL. But it does not address
the question of whether it is possible to hold such copyright, nor the question of
whether or not this page infringes such copyright, if it exists.
- As we understand UK and US copyright law (the ArseWeb server is in the US), you cannot
copyright information, only its representation. (but see update below)
- The ArseWeb calendar contains information about Arsenal's Premier League matches as well as
matches in other competitions and other dates of interest to Arsenal fans. This information
has been extracted (not copied) from various sources, and formatted by us into the page
you see below.
The FAPL claim that they are protecting the interests of newspapers etc who choose to pay
£400 for a licence to print the fixtures. Our belief is that this is irrelevant to the
questions posed above. We applaud the FAPL for extracting this money from large organisations
who can afford to pay for it and thus bring some money into the game. If other people choose to
pay for the licence that is their affair. What we are looking for is some evidence that
they, and we, are obliged to buy the licence.
If someone can answer these questions to our satisfaction then we will happily remove
copyrighted content from this page. At ArseWeb we have no desire to steal other people's
intellectual property. We do not use the club crest, we no longer take photos from other
sites, and we do not supply video clips for this reason. But we see the
ArseWeb calendar as a unique creation (if not now, it was when we started
it). We take pride in it and do not wish to change it for the sake of a
petty and unsubstantiated claim. If we must change it, we require explanation
of the law, in order to know what we can do without infringing copyright.
If any ArseWeb readers have expert knowledge of relevant law concerning copyright
and/or internet issues, we would be very grateful if you would
get in touch. Thanks.
As we have gathered more information on the legal situation, thanks largely to
many helpful ArseWeb readers, it has become clear that one can hold copyright
on this kind of information. There is no question that if someone simply
reproduces the FAPL's fixture list, they are in breach of copyright.
However at the same time it has also become more and more
obvious that ours is a far-from-straightforward case. And although we
now accept that they can hold copyright over their fixture list, we are
more convinced than ever that we are not infringing that copyright by
publishing this page.
There has been an interesting development. On Sky's coverage of Liverpool
vs Fulham on 13/12/00 the commentator said "Liverpool's next 2 games are Man
Utd and Arsenal, so Father Christmas didn't give them too many presents
when he devised the fixture list."
So, it looks like the PL may have to
fight a rival claim to copyright (they reckon that the fixtures were
created by a computer company called Sema but we prefer the Santa theory).
See Newsreel for further
Thanks to everyone who sent us the url of
Please visit the site and sign their online petition.