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back to article Premier League seeks court order to ban footie-streaming Swedish site

The Premier League is set to ask for a UK court order to force ISPs like BT and Sky to block popular football streaming site FirstRow1.eu. The Swedish soccer site would be the first to be banned in Blighty if the League gets the order, which the BBC said ISPs weren’t planning to challenge. Neither BT, Sky nor TalkTalk would …

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However

I'd never head of this before, so maybe the publicity will be good for the site.

Sadly, the viewer app installs all sorts of crap on your PC. No Thanks.

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Re: However

There's no reason to install anything, it's just a website. The ads are a little grating, of course.

I mean, like, a friend told me.

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This is exactly why ISPs should not be allowed to have close arrangements with other services, the whole "net neutrality" principle, as they won't act in favour of their customers but for their partner's profit margins.

As this is an European site, if they are breaking copyright law in Sweden, why not prosecute them there?

The blocking of web sites is a very dubious act, almost acceptable in the case of kiddie porn, but really not when it is being used to enforce artificial copyright boundaries that free trade should permit. What is bad about it is there is little chance (or inclination) for a foreign site to fight in a UK court even if it is in the interests of the UK public, so such court orders tend to get rubber-stamped and not subject to any proper test.

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The other way of looking at this is that site deprives Sky of money. While I am no great fan of Murdoch (on the contrary, I believe the Media would be better off if he didn't exist), I'd just like to point out that Sky is one of the largest contributors to the Premiere league. If they pull out (and they will, if they lose enough money), the league (and the clubs in it) probably won't survive.

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@Stuart Castle

Good. Let it die.

Out with the corpies, the gangsters and the marketeers, and the inflated prices and wages; back to proper football for proper fans, a proper competitive league, and a chance for all clubs in the country to survive and thrive.

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Devil

club survival

It's not like the extra money from Sky is resulting in cheaper ticket prices for fans, better stability for clubs, better facilities etc etc is it? Clubs are just spaffing the extra Sky money away on more overpaid overpriced players and agents fees, and even with more money they will still continue spending money they don't have against presumed future earnings.

So if there's less money, big deal, the well-run clubs will survive and the speculators will crash and burn a la Pompey. I might feel sorry for supporters of such clubs except that they're mostly demanding more and better and would be the first ones protesting if their team got relegated for lack of spending

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Re: club survival

yea to be honest the sky money is probably pocket change for most clubs, they definetly wouldnt cease to exist if they pulled out.

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FAIL

Re: club survival

Not so. The sky and other media pay cheques are what has started the hyper-pay bubble that we're seeing in the premier league.

Other nations appear to be able to have football teams without paying pampered show ponies to turn up. Those nations are the ones who keep beating England in every world cup.

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> The blocking of web sites is a very dubious act, almost acceptable in the case of kiddie porn

Almost, but not quite?

> Sky is one of the largest contributors to the Premiere league. If they pull out, the league (and the clubs in it) probably won't survive.

Just like all the lower leagues and divisions and the clubs within them haven't survived? Oh wait...

Some might argue that the premier league would be better off without so much money.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: club survival @Darren Barratt

Well said Dave +1

Bayern Munich The Euro Cup Holders charge £104 for the cheapest SEASON ticket, most expensive £561 !

Just la load of greedy pigs with their noses stuck in the trough, what amazes me is that we the public are stupid enough to fill their trough for them.

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@Jamie Kitson

"Almost, but not quite?"

Who guards the guards?

How do we know the block list is KP and not used to add other unrelated but politically undesirable sites (as the leaked Australian "great firewall" attempt showed)?

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Pint

" If they pull out (and they will, if they lose enough money), the league (and the clubs in it) probably won't survive."

I don't see a down side there, Sky losing money and football bankrupt, sounds good to me. Next target Horse Racing, not cos I'm a animal rights bod, it's just effing boring.

Pint to enjoy in a pub without the football backdrop.

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Anonymous Coward

Good, cant stand football anyway.

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Pint

Old media *yawn*

Just die already, eh?

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What happend to the EU ruling?

That the landlady won? Surely that comes into play here?

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Re: What happend to the EU ruling?

It may or may not apply. But it won't be considered unless a lawyer stands up and articulates that point.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What happend to the EU ruling?

The landlady had a subscription!

Here we go for another pointless games of whack-a-mole, that the content owners will loose. Instead of 1 website, they will now be faced with 100 copies!

I expect that this will mean that punters will be greatly inconvenienced by have to scroll down slightly further on Google search results to find a suitable proxy....

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IT Angle

I used streaming sites, I refused to pay the ridiculous amount that sky sports cost, plus I didnt want to watch any of the other shit like cricket or golf so wasnt value for money atall.

The major problem here is that whenever they do these stupid little blocks, people just put up proxies which work just aswell. What I am noticing more is that these proxies are getting more and more filled with ads which is not only annoying but people are profitting off it too, and we all know piracy funds terrorism so in a way these court orders are funding terrorism.

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Trollface

"I refused to pay the ridiculous amount that sky sports cost, plus I didnt want to watch any of the other shit like cricket or golf so wasnt value for money atall."

Great idea - why don't we all just do what the fuck we like and screw everybody else. It's too expensive so don't bother paying, just take it. Pick up some beer at the Supermarket and just walk out the door. The good stuff mind, none of your Carling rubbish, I don't like that.

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Anonymous Coward

@Velv

If the site is not legal in Sweden, get it closed down there. If it is, UK ISPs shouldn't be blocking it. Sky Sweden (or whoever) competes with the site there and they should compete with it here as well.

The point is that copyright holders shouldn't be able to use the courts to enforce geographic licensing. Sure they would love to charge higher prices in the UK than in other countries where there ie either less demand or less money to spend but the Internet should have put paid to that sort of profiteering. Globalisation needs to work for consumers as well as for business.

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Isn't this a bit of a delayed and incomplete report?

Seems everybody else was reporting last week that the league had written to the major ISPs saying they intended to seek this court order and asking the ISPs to respond if they have any intent to oppose the court order. This is pretty normal practice and sensible for a couple of reasons #1 When asking for the court order it's useful to be able to say that nobody actually opposes it and #2 it's just common courtesy. Springing a court order on somebody without warning doesn't exactly foster good relations.

In light of the letter however some of the quotes you give seem a little odd.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't get the point...

I have sky sports, but they don't show all the matches, so only matches they don't show would I watch on a streaming site. Now, if they don't show it, you have to actually go to the game to watch it, which is not really feasible for me (can't get a season ticket to Anfield, and not going to pay 500 pounds + flights [as I live abroad] for hospitality package), so the club isn't loosing out, but I would like to watch the match live - so what options??

Clubs need to smarten up, stream live games, and I would pay a small fee to watch the game - directly to the club if they provided the service... The three o'clock games on Saturday for example, it's ridiculous that the only way you can watch is by attending... I guess Sky is responsible for some of this mess, but the clubs need to wake up too!!

This just smacks of the dumb approach the movie/music industry is taking with respect to tackling evolving technology (i.e. burying head under rock and using the law, rather than evolving their strategies along with it...)

Dumb asses...

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Unhappy

Re: I don't get the point...

The people who watch the streams usually fit in to one of the following:

(a) The game is too far away/too expensive to attend/sold out.

(b) The game isn't being shown on a channel already received.

None of these are "lost" revenue to the clubs, only lost opportunities for revenue. If clubs only charged a couple of quid to view a match, people wouldn't bother with streaming from dodgy sites.

Give the customers what they actually want and profit from it rather than spaff your profits on chasing sites that give the customers what they're actually asking for.

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Re: I don't get the point...

Remember that select games are shown live, and they are NOT usually shown at the same time as all the other games - there is an agreement in place to keep attendance at most games up by not showing live games at the same time.

And if you want to go down the streaming route the Merkins have it sorted. Both MLB and NFL have good cheap packages. However they also have local blackout restrictions, so you can't watch local games live.

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Erm..

Sweden is a member of the EU. Won't blocking the site violate treaties on the single market?

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Re: Erm..

Not sure why you got the down vote so gave you an upvote.

If they are violating copyright they're based in Sweden, not N Korea. Sue them there.

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Re: Erm..

I suspect they are not suing in Sweden because they cannot be sure of a rubber-stamp ban if they do that. They may actually have to come up with evidence that it is illegal rather than just potentially denting their profit margins

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Re: Erm..

I strongly suspect you're right but I hope that the judge throws this out.

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Re: Erm..

Looking at the site, I suspect that that they don't have rights to show the stuff in Sweden - if they did, the FA would be pulling them. Does someone who's seen it want to say what the source is?

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The Premier League

Once upon a time people used to wear old-fashioned caps, work hard during the week, and go to football matches on the weekend, to support their local team. They might even know the families of some of the players and meet them in the pub afterwards.

These days people support legacy multinational brandsteams which, as part of their corporate strategy, field teams of football professionalsplayers, each of whom comes with his own agent, manager, tax expert, personal trainer, bodyguards, PR expert, gardener and cook. These teams of football professionalsplayers then engage in showsgames against other teams of football professionalsplayers from other multinational brandsteams, in accordance with the terms of their contracts. The outcome of the events is thought by the armies of consumerssupporters to be unpredictable, and not based on money invested or pressure applied by the various stakeholders and power brokers.

The consumerssupporters are happy with the situation, and keep making endearing comments about and egging on their favourite, multimillionaire football professionalsplayers, seen on a widescreen TV in a pub, as though the latter were there in person with them. And they also get to discuss things like multi-million pound transfer fees, sponsorship, Sky TV subscriptions, which their boring forebears would never have imagined.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The Premier League

Better than that. You knew when the games were going to kick off, so you could plan your life around them (or the other way round, for that matter). Nowadays games kick off at whatever time the TV capitalists feel they ought to. My own team at one point didn't have a Saturday 3 o'clock kick off for over two months.

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Anonymous Coward

Well if your company, sorry, club, is willing to pay millions of pounds / hour work for someone to occasionally run around a field every now and then, you have to pay for it someway or another.

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Anonymous Coward

The name of the site

Please.

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Mushroom

Re: The name of the site

Try reading the actual article?

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FAIL

TV rights

The reason I don't subscribe to Sky is because I only support one football team. The last thing I want to do is pay a subscription when I have total disdain for teams in 95% of the matches.

If I could subscribe to a TV channel and just get every single match for my team or pay per view for a reasonable price, then I'd be interested. To prevent the better-supported clubs raking in more money than others you pay your sub to the league who then divide it equally amongst all the teams. Hopefully that would

rid us of the shiny suits and casual racism/sexism of Sky Sports as well.

It annoys me how there are TV cameras at all the games and they are shown live around the world yet in the country where (like it or not) it's the national sport, you can only watch a tiny percentage of the games live. It's apparently to make sure that people actually go and watch it live yet they go and charge £50 for a ticket.

Perhaps if there was a legal option available to watch a particular match live over the internet, people might, you know, pay for it. They should be asking themselves why people use questionable methods to view the sport in the first place, clearly the service the football organising cartel provides is failing. I'd pay £15 per month to watch all my team's games without some annoying kids swearing in a chatbox on the side of the screen.

It's just a shame that football, like everything else in this country, seems to be run by dumb arse blazer types and former Peers looking for a final bit of retirement cash who wouldn't know their monkey rush from their Nottingham Hotspur.

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Unhappy

Re: TV rights

I was in Thailand recently and of the 7 public channels available late Saturday evenings, 4 of them were showing live Premier league matches. They even adorn skyscrapers with 10 storey high pictures with some of the ugly gits

http://goo.gl/maps/YZrwI

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Anonymous Coward

Re: TV rights

so let's change the rules ever so slightly, and say the Premier league matches can be blocked from this particular site, as long as they are not available on any other site or on free-to-air TV anywhere else in the world, and making them prove they've done that before granting any block order.

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Re: TV rights

I'm guessing that the clubs are a) stitched into the TV deal by the FA and b) prefer the set money offered by the tv company rather than taking the risk of a pay per match deal where they can't predict the income. A bird in the hand....

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