Sports General

DLA Piper eSports law booklet is now published!

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.

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.

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UK – New CMA guidance for influencers and commitments secured with particular individuals

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announced yesterday, following its investigation (see our earlier article available here), that it has secured commitments from 16 social media influencers about how they post online (see link to CMA press release here). The influencers, including singer Rita Ora and model Alexa Chung, have agreed to clearly state if they are in a commercial relationship, or are receiving payment in kind, for any products that they endorse on their social media channels.

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New UK Advertising Regulator 5 year Strategy focuses on Online Impact

Yesterday at a conference hosted by the UK advertising regulator, the ASA, billed as “The future of ad regulation”, the ASA announced its new 5 year plan entitled “More impact online”, with an ambition of making every UK ad responsible (see link here).Reflecting on the change in landscape that has occurred, Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the ASA, who unveiled the new strategy, noted that despite only being within the ASA’s remit since 2011, online “advertiser-owned ” ads (e.g. ads on company websites and social media pages) account for over half of the ASA’s work and in 2017 around 88% of ads that were amended or withdrawn were online ads (in whole or in part).

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Prize Promotions – Winner announcement requirement will not be enforced by ASA pending outcome of its GDPR consultation

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has announced it will not enforce the CAP Code rule requiring promoters to publish or make available the name and county of major prize winners, pending the completion of work arising out of its GDPR Consultation (expected to be completed in the autumn). The Consultation, which closed in June 2018, is aimed at ensuring the CAP Code meets the standards set out in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into force on 25 May 2018.

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Amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive agreed.

The European Parliament, Council and Commission recently announced that they have reached preliminary political agreement on the principal revisions to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (“AVMSD“). The negotiations will officially end in June this year when the remaining technical details of the proposal will be finalised. The AVMSD defines the audiovisual media services regulatory framework within the EU and the proposals aim to address societal shifts in this sector including the increase of Europeans, especially …

Amendments to the Audiovisual Media Services Directive agreed. Read More »

IAAF publishes new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification

The IAAF has published new “Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification” (the “Regulations“), which can be found here. The Regulations set out a number of criteria that athletes with “differences of sex development” must meet in order to be eligible to compete in the female category of track events between 400m and a mile (the “Restricted Events“) in an international competition (or to set a world record in such an event). The Regulations define “differences of …

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Bundesliga clubs confirmed 50+1 rule – but liberalisation plans for Investors are not off the table

For decades investors have been interested in German football. However, on 22 March 2018 the German Football League (“DFL”) voted in favour of generally retaining the 50+1 Rule. This rule, which is unique throughout Europe, was established in 1998 and in short means that investors cannot take over clubs as the clubs shall hold a majority of their own voting rights. German clubs are generally controlled by associations made-up of fee paying members, rather than …

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First Swedish case against influencer regarding surreptitious advertising

A famous Swedish blogger and influencer in social media has been judged to have posted messages on her web-blog and Instagram account that were in breach of the Swedish Marketing Act. The posts have not been formulated and presented in a way that clearly states that it has been marketing. The posts have also been found to not clearly state who is responsible for the marketing. It was not considered enough to use the hashtag …

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Athletes’ Right of Publicity Claims Directed to Sports Video Games Not Preempted by Copyright Act

The California federal district court, in Davis v. Electronic Arts Inc., recently issued the latest in a series of decisions involving athletes’ right of publicity (“ROP”) claims aimed at Electronic Arts’ (“EA”) popular sports videogame franchise. The plaintiffs in Davis are retired NFL players and allege that EA violated their publicity rights by using their likenesses in EA’s Madden videogame series without authorization. EA moved to dismiss the operative complaint, arguing that the plaintiffs’ state-based ROP claims were preempted by federal copyright law. On December 11, 2017, the district court denied EA’s motion.

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Changes to the law on Sport in Poland

The new Polish Sports Law that came into force on 12 September 2017 introduces important changes with respect to the regulatory aspects of sport as well as some organisational and structural changes to sport in Poland that are aimed at conforming with modern standards of sports regulation.

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E-Sport will finally be recognised as a sport in Poland

On 14 March 2017, the Council of Ministers adopted a draft law amending the Act of 25 June 2010 on Sport (accessible here). The draft is currently subject to its first reading in parliament. The draft introduces an extension to the existing definition of sport, supplementing the solely physical activity expressed thus far in the sports law with “competition based on intellectual activity aimed at achieving a sports result”.

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Proposed restrictions on gambling during broadcast (including online platforms) in Australia

On 6 May 2017 the Australian Government announced the Broadcast and Content Reform Package which, among other things, affects the current broadcasting regime that covers gambling advertising and promotions during live sports programmes. The reform package includes a prohibition on gambling promotions from five minutes before the scheduled start of play in all live sports broadcasts to five minutes after the conclusion of play until 8:30 pm (after which the existing regime will apply). The restriction targets programmes aimed at an …

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Filmspeler – Sale of “fully-loaded” IPTV boxes and “unlawful use”

In another welcome decision for content owners and broadcasters, the CJEU has dealt a significant blow to the business models of those individuals looking to profit from the sale of pre-configured media players which provide end-users with hyperlinks to copyright-infringing Internet streams.

In its Filmspeler judgment (available here), the Court followed the opinion of its Advocate General (previously reported here) that the mere sale of media players (such as IPTV/ Kodi boxes) which are pre-configured (or “fully loaded”) to display pirated content itself constitutes a communication to the public, provided certain conditions are met.

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