News Media Coalition shares major public policy platform with the sport sector
The dangers of online piracy of copyright content to the news media sector and sport broadcasting were given high profile at the EU Sport Forum (April 8/9).
Organised by the European Commission and the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the event in Bucharest brought together nearly 500 representatives from national governments, public policy-makers, sports organisations, NGOs, broadcasters and Commission officials.
The NMC – which is the only international news sector industry body which focuses on policy affecting sports news – was invited to participate in a debate entitled: ‘Are sports rights sufficiently protected?’
Andrew Moger, Director of the NMC, spoke alongside Cameron Andrews, Legal Director for Anti-Piracy at beIN MEDIA GROUP, Mark Lichtenhein, Chairman, Sports Rights Owners Coalition (SROC), Lucian Mircescu, Chair of the Working Party on Sport, Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU and Krisztina Stump, Deputy Head of Copyright Unit, DG CNECT, European Commission.
Moger spoke of the struggle which news companies share with others in the creative sector such as broadcasters of acting against those that on an industrial scale steal copyright content without a licence or good cause and fail to properly remunerate the originators of the material.
Within a lively discussion about ‘eradicating this evil from society’ there was a consensus on the need to better protect copyright content generally and in the sports context in particular.
As a central theme, Moger argued that alongside the copyright abuse problem, the barriers imposed by certain sports organisations on creating independent news coverage in the first place was of significant concern. He said the news media (so-called non-rights holders) needed both fair opportunities to report on sport but also for their copyright to be respected: able to access sports events without restrictive terms and conditions on reporting and content use so that the public can obtain witness accounts from independent journalists and newsrooms.