It’s been a busy Summer of sport, and as we move towards the tail end of the year we are seeing a surge in Bills being reviewed and consultations announced. We have highlighted some of the major announcements in this alert.


Last week we were delighted to host Kate Richardson-Walsh, captain of the GB Women’s hockey team that took gold in Rio, as the keynote speaker at the Inaugural Women in Sport event in London, please keep an eye out for similar events being launched in a handful of countries around the world, including the US and Australia.

We are also preparing for the Sportel conference taking place in Monaco at the end of month. Our Global Co-CEO, Simon Levine, and Senior Counsel David Pahl, former GC at ESPN, will be on panels discussing the opportunities digital brings to sports‎, looking at the latest developments in copyright and digital technology. We’re hosting a webinar ahead of the event to discuss these topics and more information can be found here.


The European Commission unveiled plans to present a new European Copyright Reform and in particular to introduce a new neighbouring right for news publishers. They shall also be given the right to receive levies for the use of excerpts of their articles by internet platforms such as Google News. Yet, it is planned to expand this neighboring right to all internet companies, particularly social networks such as Facebook and YouTube as well as news services and to enhance the protection period to 20 years - instead of eg only one year for news publishers in Germany, which is considered not to be very effective.

Online ticket resale market

As required by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, an independent review of consumer protection measures in the online ticket resale market has been conducted and the findings were published in May 2016. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has now published its response to the independent review and stated that it will be taking part in discussions with representatives of the live events industry about how unfair terms law applies to ticketing terms and conditions, how pricing information is displayed and how to prevent the use of automated software (bots) to purchase large numbers of tickets. The CMA is currently holding a compliance review of undertakings provided by the four main secondary ticket platforms, including an agreement to give improved information to buyers about the tickets listed on their sites, and also their legal requirements. The CMA plans to provide a further update on this work by the end of 2016.

Digital Economy Bill

A reminder regarding the Digital Economy Bill that was introduced in House of Commons in the UK in July. The public committee is currently consulting on the bill and responses have been requested by the 27 October. Measures include:

  • access to digital services, including a broadband Universal Service Obligation so that everyone has the legal right to request connection to fast broadband
  • digital infrastructure, including reforms to the Electronic Communications Code
  • protections for children online including age verification checks for access to all websites and “apps” containing pornographic material
  • reforms to intellectual property including bringing criminal penalties for online and physical copyright infringement into line, creating a new online design registration system, repealing out-dated copyright provisions in relation to cable television
  • better public services and sharing information through better use of data whilst safeguarding citizens’ privacy
  • regulation of the digital economy including extending Ofcom’s powers to regulate the activities of the BBC and reduce the number of unwanted direct marketing calls and spam emails.