Football DataCo


Football DataCo

Football DataCo Ltd is a British company in the football (soccer) industry that grants licences to third parties (such as newspapers) allowing them to reproduce certain intellectual property (such as fixture lists and statistics) owned by the FA Premier League, The Football League, the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League. See website www.football-dataco.com.

Many of Football DataCo's activities are contracted out to the Press Association (PA). Thus, PA Sport handles applications for and distributes fixture lists and produces the Actim statistics service on behalf of Football DataCo.

Football DataCo is wholly owned by FA Premier League and The Football League.

DataCo charges a standard fee for the reproduction of Fixture lists, which currently stands at: £266 plus VAT to print the fixtures of one English club.

Newspapers printing the fixtures of all clubs, will be charged around £3,931 plus VAT by DataCo for a date ordered listing.

The money accrued by DataCo for the rights to this data, is distributed to league clubs on an egalitarian basis, approximately:

18% to the Premier League clubs;

56% to Football League clubs;

25% to Scotland, mostly to Scottish Football League clubs.

Controversy

The company has been racked by controversy in the UK media, after a 2004 European court of justice ruling that the Premier League and Football League cannot use the European Database Directive to demand payment from media and pools companies for the publication of fixture lists. DataCo refute the ruling, arguing that a legal precedent was set in the UK back in 1959, when the Football League won a landmark copyright victory against Littlewoods Pools, claiming income from the Pools company for their use of the Fixtures list.

Staunch opponents to DataCo argue that the ruling is long out of date, and needs to be brought more inline with the advances in information collection and delivery that we are seeing with the world wide web.

Small, independently owned football fan sites have been the worst hit by DataCo, who charge even non-profit making enterprises around £266 for use of single club fixture data unless adopted by a club as a "Nominated Fanzine" in which case the charge is £1.00 plus VAT. This has meant that many fanzines have been threatened with removal of the fixtures by DataCo [The Guardian 21 Dec 2005 - see http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2005/dec/21/newmedia.comment] .

References

External links

* [http://www.freethefixtures.com/ Free The Fixtures - make fixtures available to fanzines for free]
* [http://football.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1671699,00.html Fanzine fight for the right to print fixtures - The Guardian]
* [http://business.guardian.co.uk/story/0,,1347339,00.html Boost for papers in football fixtures row - The Guardian]
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/3954339.stm Lockout fear over football rights - BBC News]


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