YouTube (Public, NASDAQ:GOOG) has begun the process of removing unlicensed clips from Premier League and FA matches that are available on the popular video clips site.
Although EPL Talk is unable to discern the exact number of clips that have been removed, recent clips such as Croatia’s goal against England where Paul Robinson flubbed his clearance, and last Monday’s goals from the Fulham against Charlton match have been removed. Instead the site now displays a “This video has been removed due to copyright infringement” message.
Judging by the sheer amount of Premiership videos still currently available from YouTube, the company — that was recently acquired by Google — has a lot of work ahead. For example, a search for “Premiership” videos on YouTube (at the time of this posting) displayed 1191 clips although not all of them are unlicensed material.
It’s no coincidence that the two aforementioned clips highlighted had links from the 101greatgoals blog (as well as other sites). 101greatgoals yesterday received a letter from a company the Premier League hired to stamp out links to unlicensed Premiership highlights.
An exclusive interview with “Ronaldo,” the blog’s creator, will be published on this Sunday’s episode of the EPL Talk Podcast, which will also include a separate and unrelated interview with England, Tottenham and Fulham legend Alan Mullery. Both interviews will be published at 9am BST, October 22.
The Premier League highlights controversy is just part of a bigger story about YouTube being pressured over copyright violations. For example, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper reported today that YouTube.com has reportedly deleted 30,000 video clips after being pressured by Japanese media groups.
Why the Premier League chose all of a sudden to go after 101greatgoals is unclear. However, according to the BBC, “from next season Match Of The Day and MOTD2 will be streamed on broadband as simulcasts with the TV programmes for UK users – meaning all the Premiership goals will be available online for the first time in the UK.”
The steps taken by the Premier League and YouTube have angered soccer fans worldwide (see comments posted on the 101greatgoals blog). For example, reader kevush replied on the blog by saying “I cannot believe that the Premier League would so overtly threaten a blog whose sole purpose is to share, for the benefit of all, the goals and latest news of their league.”