The full European Parliament has decided to accept proposals that journalism must be safeguarded within measures to stop the scourge of digital piracy of live sport footage.
The News Media Coalition (NMC) has been at the forefront of attempts to persuade legislators to recognise the vital role of news publishers and news agencies in giving visibility to sport events and sporting performance, through news coverage including video news material.
The parliament text from the report on “Challenges of sports events organisers, today states: “whereas the measures aimed at protecting broadcast rights against illegal use and piracy must not affect press freedom or the news media’s ability to inform citizens;” and: “whereas certain major sports events are of general public interest and access to real-time information about them should therefore be guaranteed for all citizens and not be subject to undue or illegal restrictions; whereas this also concerns the journalists and news reporters who may provide such real-time information”
We believe the wording represents a necessary balance between the needs of a protected media rights market and the needs of news operations. Importantly, the measures are not based on copyright existing in sports events.
The report will now be taken up by the European Commission which has been under pressure to urgently come up with measures to support the efforts of the sports industry to shut down pirates.