Premier League settles YouTube copyright case

The Premier League, the top division of English football, has settled its long-running legal battle with video-sharing website YouTube over alleged copyright infringement of its content, according to the Guardian newspaper.

The report, citing documents filed in New York, said that the Premier League, along with fellow complainant Fédération Française de Tennis, the governing body of tennis in France, plus several music publishers, had dropped the case that was first opened in 2007.

The Premier League had taken action claiming extensive copyright breaches through clips that were posted on YouTube of games broadcast by its rights-holders. The League launched a class action in the US, offering other parties the chance to take action against the now Google-owned platform following a separate claim by US media group Viacom.

YouTube and Google had argued their actions were permitted under US copyright law, which permits “fair use” of protected material. They had also said the Premier League did not do enough on its own to limit illegal postings.

A New York judge in May denied a motion to hear the case as a class action, ruling it was “unrealistic” to consider the claims of the various rights-holders in a single case.

Under the terms of the “voluntary dismissal”, both sides will pay their own costs. The latest development means that Premier League clubs could now be able to utilise their own YouTube channels to broadcast delayed match highlights having previously been limited to offering behind-the-scenes content and other non-game related footage.