Russian TV channel Match TV sued web-resource Sports.ru for copyright infringement

According to suit, Match TV believes web-resource illegally demonstrates highlights of two matches FNL, as it is stated on sports.ru’s web-site. Match TV claims it spends a lot of money in order to acquire rights in content from official right holders. First court hearing will be 30th of May.

Sports.ru did not like this. They have asked General Producer of the channel for comments but did not receive any replies. Therefore they have posted these questions on their web-site and tried to make situation with copyright issues little more clear. So what it is all about? Why two sides of dispute can’t live together in peace?

First of all – sports.ru’s questions. Web-resource claims that management of the channel has canceled meeting with CEO of sports.ru. The meeting had to set up “meaningful dialog” and “to find possible common points of understanding the issue on highlights”. If the channel is the proper right holder and believes web-resource has infringed its copyright, why the channel never notified web-resource thereof?

Also web-resource has asked, whether it is justified to cancel all agreements with all sports media, participating in distribution of licenced content with advertisement from GazProm, parent company of Match TV? If Russian leagues should be interested to ramp up their audience, not only those from sports.ru, but from other media resources, whether they are happy with the fact that audience of licenced highlights can decrease due to canceled arrangements?

There are also couple things which sports.ru does not understand. If the content in dispute is very valuable, why Match TV does not publish it on its web-site? The main source of unlicensed video in internet is famous social network in Russia, where GazProm’s content is available even with advertisement. But Match TV has never fought with piracy in this social network. (Perhaps this social network is Vkontakte).

Web-resource sports.ru claims it has all necessary rights in content in order to demonstrate highlights in its web-site. Sports.ru has even published the first page of its agreement with company, which provided web-resource with rights in content. This company is “end-rightholder of video-row (picture)” of sporting events. This company does not produce “video-row”, it is produced by television channels. Under the agreement sports.ru has the right to use “video-row” under written consent of TV channels.

“The consent to show highlights on web-site Sports.ru has received three years ago from previous management of “NTV-Plus”. Match TV was founded in 2015. Match TV has not notified Sports.ru of any changing in legal entities or management. Theoretically they have reason to claim, but in such case it is “raider tricks”,” – explained CEO of Sports.ru Dmitry Navosha.

Press-service of Match TV believes Navosha will have good opportunity to provide the court with all evidences he has in hands. Match TV protects its copyright and does not make exceptions. Previously the channel asked the court to block sports.ru, but without success. Now it seems the battle between two bigwigs of sport industry will be more epic and interesting.