Sport

DLA Piper eSports law booklet

The eSports market has grown at a tremendous pace over the past few years becoming a half billion dollar industry and it is quickly seducing an increasing number of fans, operators and investors. Beside the huge growth, the industry is rapidly evolving, going from content consumed largely through streaming platforms to network-backed streaming services.

The eSports law booklet from the Italian IPT team of DLA Piper covers a number of current and upcoming legal issues of eSports and how to deal with them in order to help companies operating in the market to better understand the issues that are arising and to which the eSports industry in some cases does not still have a good answer.

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eSports and Copyright between choreographies and UGC

There are a number of copyright issues related to the choreography of an eSports game. In these days the first (and most important) regards the protection of choreographic elements (i.e. a dance) which could appear in videogames. In Europe and in the USA, a choreographic work is protected by copyright. This is why an extended series of dances moves that is original to its creator can be protected by copyright. The above explains the law suits recently filed in the USA at the end of 2018 by several individuals in connection with famous Fortnite videogame.

If you are not familiar with Fortnite, players can buy (or earn) emotes, short avatar animations who can replicate generic acrobatic moves and dances. The Fortnite Loser Dance (so called L Dance) become famous thanks to the French soccer player Griezmann, who used this theme after scoring in the last World Cup 2018 final against Croatia.

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How do you spell e-Stadium?

The majority of legal analysis concerning the raise of e-Sports tends to coagulate around the main stakeholders, i.e. the IP owners, the broadcasters, the sponsors and the e-athletes and teams, focusing on the appropriate way to discipline their relationships, possibly against a regulated background capable of dealing with gambling, e-doping and, more generally, with the requirements and rules set by laws, sport authorities and similar bodies.

There is however a missing piece in this picture: the audience, i.e. the increasing crowd interested to see the e-games, possibly attending live events, with the opportunity to meet their idols and see them play live.

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eSports: a new frontier for the advertising law and image rights?

eSports competitions have recently become a trend topic among sports and gaming lovers.

An ever-growing number of major sports leagues and pro young players are getting involved in this global competitive industry, together with an increasing turnover. By 2020, eSports is predicted to become a billion-dollar industry.

This explosive growth of digital sports championships captured the attention of many leading companies – operating in various lines of business – which are gradually approaching this new phenomenon by investing into eSports in the hope of targeting its relevant audience.

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