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YouTube & Premier League Angers Fans By Removing Premiership Highlight Footage


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 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.”

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  1. Anonymous

    October 24, 2006 at 2:39 pm

    if the point of the Borat advertisement was to be caught by the camera during the action, i cant imagine they would mind being seen every single time someone watched the howler.

  2. The Gaffer

    October 24, 2006 at 3:26 am

    The Robbo howler footage is still on YouTube (see here). How much longer it’ll be there, no one knows.

    The Gaffer


    October 23, 2006 at 12:32 pm

    The Robbo howler footage may have been removed for a different copyright infringement. I’m sure you all remember how funny (& ironic) it was that “Borat” was on the ad boards visible in the frame. I have searched for still pictures that I saw on the web the day or two after the match. Virtually no pics remain out there! I’m guessing that Foxfilms sent a cease & desist notice out to all news agencies. Anyone have any workable links to the hilarious flub kick?

  4. Anonymous

    October 21, 2006 at 10:49 pm

    ya know, not to get off on a commentary….
    I think many of these sites such as youtube or myspace etc, as long as they try to limit the free flow of internet accessability people will find other venues to find this information (in this case videos). I can understand the privacy and copywrite laws, but in terms of compilations and true highlight mixes people make…you walk a very thin line on what is original material. If youtube wants to be a site for video blogs and movie trailers… they may go the way of the dinosaurs. In the meantime, sites like EPL Talk with forums will allow users to find the content they desire. If I were a company I would fight unfair laws in hopes to maintain credibility. Where do we all go when we want to see videos…

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