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  1. #1
    JW Aces is offline New Member
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    Default Please help! Problems with DataCo

    Hi,

    A Friend of mine recently moved his hosting to the UK for SEO reasons. He has a gaming portal (sports betting) and recently received an email from a company called Data Co. I'd never heard of them but they seemed to be legit and were formed to protect the UK football fixtures. Data Co is ran by the premier league and I think the SPL are also involved. Anyway, that's the history. They actually want 5% of my friends profit which seems ridiculous. I know other people who have other European hosting and have never been perused by Data Co.

    I'd appreciate some advice on the best way forward.

    Kind Regards,

    JW

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    Spearmaster is offline In Memoriam, 1964-2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by JW Aces View Post
    Hi,

    A Friend of mine recently moved his hosting to the UK for SEO reasons. He has a gaming portal (sports betting) and recently received an email from a company called Data Co. I'd never heard of them but they seemed to be legit and were formed to protect the UK football fixtures. Data Co is ran by the premier league and I think the SPL are also involved. Anyway, that's the history. They actually want 5% of my friends profit which seems ridiculous. I know other people who have other European hosting and have never been perused by Data Co.

    I'd appreciate some advice on the best way forward.

    Kind Regards,

    JW
    Why would they want 5% of profit? Is this going forward or past profits?

    The standard charge should be 500 quid/year for websites, payable to the Press Association (which is the official partner of DataCo).

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    Do not ignore them.

    It actually costs nearly £30k to list all football league fixtures. I know, because they contacted me several years ago. I subsequently took them down.

    They have been known to close football forums down. So if I were you I would remove the fixtures. It is not worth the hassle.

    They will also have no problem taking anyone to court that continues listing the forthcoming football fixtures, but refuses to pay for the license.

    They are closely linked to the Premier League and Football League and that is why they are in operation. They have the resources to make any webmasters life extremely unpleasant.
    Exit stage left

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    Quote Originally Posted by JW Aces View Post
    Hi,

    A Friend of mine recently moved his hosting to the UK for SEO reasons. He has a gaming portal (sports betting) and recently received an email from a company called Data Co. I'd never heard of them but they seemed to be legit and were formed to protect the UK football fixtures. Data Co is ran by the premier league and I think the SPL are also involved. Anyway, that's the history. They actually want 5% of my friends profit which seems ridiculous. I know other people who have other European hosting and have never been perused by Data Co.

    I'd appreciate some advice on the best way forward.

    Kind Regards,

    JW
    Please be more specific. Did the email demand the removal of the fixtures? Are they citing copyright infringement? If the answer to either question is yes, then your friend should comply with the request and remove the offending content.
    Terry - The Pokerkeep
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    Email: admin @ thepokerkeep.com



  5. #5
    JW Aces is offline New Member
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    Below is the main detail from the first email received.



    The fixture lists for the four UK professional football leagues are copyrighted and can only be reproduced under license. I have attached a copy of the Odds Comparison license to this email for you to review. If you wish to continue showing the fixtures can you please complete and return two copies of the license agreement to me, along with the advance payment of £500.

    The license fee is based on an advance on royalties model. The advance of £500 is taken on application with royalties being owed at four regular stages throughout the season (September, December, March and June). Further details on the royalties can be found within the agreement. Please note no payment will be due on royalties until the £500 advance has been exceeded.

    Payment can be made either by cheque or electronic bank transfer. Please make all cheques payable to ‘Football DataCo Ltd’. If you would prefer to pay by electronic bank transfer please advise me and I will forward the relevant details on.

  6. #6
    Spearmaster is offline In Memoriam, 1964-2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by JW Aces View Post
    Below is the main detail from the first email received.



    The fixture lists for the four UK professional football leagues are copyrighted and can only be reproduced under license. I have attached a copy of the Odds Comparison license to this email for you to review. If you wish to continue showing the fixtures can you please complete and return two copies of the license agreement to me, along with the advance payment of £500.

    The license fee is based on an advance on royalties model. The advance of £500 is taken on application with royalties being owed at four regular stages throughout the season (September, December, March and June). Further details on the royalties can be found within the agreement. Please note no payment will be due on royalties until the £500 advance has been exceeded.

    Payment can be made either by cheque or electronic bank transfer. Please make all cheques payable to ‘Football DataCo Ltd’. If you would prefer to pay by electronic bank transfer please advise me and I will forward the relevant details on.
    Apparently, your friend runs an odds comparison site, so it's 500 quid plus 5% - like to know how they're going to calculate that though.

    For a straight 500 quid, you can get text and images. Weird how the fixture list is so much more expensive...

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    Webzcas's Avatar
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    If you want to just show all of this coming season's Premiership Fixtures, the last price I saw quoted was only £9000
    Exit stage left

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    Dataco are well known for this, they come in very hard when they decide to target a particular website and tend to get their way.

    There has been a EU court case on this and if my memory serves me correctly it was a very ambiguous result with Dataco coming out on top, bottom line being that they do to a certain degree have the law on their side.

    Anyone that publishes the fixture list has to pay basically, the UK media do and the bookies etc do, a lot of webmasters however either ignore the Dataco or use 3rd party content.

    Personally i dont like what Dataco do, i think it is morally wrong, its a cartel and a monopoly and just the tip of the iceberg, but thats just me.

    If they come after you though they wont let up, so either prepare for a battle royal or comply.
    Arthritis Care

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    This looks like a case where (and remember, I'm not a lawyer) British law and U.S. law are differ widely. In the U.S., fixtures are not copyrighted material. In fact, the sports leagues tried to shut down fantasy sports sites based by claiming they had a copyright on league statistics. But the courts ruled in favor of the fantasy sports sites, essentially saying you can't have a copyright on facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webzcas View Post
    If you want to just show all of this coming season's Premiership Fixtures, the last price I saw quoted was only £9000
    I'm just stunned at how ridiculous that is.

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    Exactly

    To me fixture lists across all sports are public domain info and publishing a fixture list should not be covered by copywrite, one has to question at what point is enough enough, what will they copywrite next? the players names maybe.

    But that is the way it is and Dataco to my understanding are backed up by the law in Europe and like i say they do have a history of going after people.

    There was once a loophole cannot recall exactly what it was, something to do with supporters clubs or something but i believe that has been closed now.

    Bottom line is they can and they will close you down if you dont cough up or pull the info.
    Arthritis Care

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    EugeneK is offline Public Member
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    nice way of making money
    very funny, but as I understand a lot of companies pay for this.
    cool for data co and frustrating for small affiliates

  13. #13
    FictionNet is offline Closed by Request
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    I can't believe I've never heard of this before. Dataco sound like a bunch of twatbags. Nothing in UK law surprises me any more. Sometimes I hate my own ******* country so much.

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    There was once a loophole cannot recall exactly what it was, something to do with supporters clubs or something but i believe that has been closed now.
    Not so much a loophole. They agreed that a premier league, football league or spl club could nominate one fan site only, that could publish that teams and that teams only, fixtures for the forthcoming season. For the small one off price of £200.

    Considering most of the fans forums are not for profit, this is scandalous IMO. A few years back they also shut down several forums, including I believe a very popular Watford fans site. They went straight to the host to do so.

    They also are responsible for enforcing that no images taken in any ground are displayed on a site. It is illegal for anyone to take a photograph or video inside a ground when a match is on. Something that you agree to when purchasing a ticket whether it be potd or a season ticket. This is why, fans forums do no longer allow you to post youtube clips taken of a game on your mobile or other device.

    They contacted me back in 2007 when I published all four English division fixtures on my site Betsage. I started to rank for some great niche terms as well, such as Manchester United Fixtures etc.

    They wanted nearly £30,000 off me back then. I subsequently took the fixtures down straightaway.

    I have in the past done some offline advertising with my club Bristol City and have spoken about this outfit with the commercial department there. They pretty much confirm what has been stated in this thread about them.

    As BetPartners stated, these guys are serious. Do not take them lightly. They have shut down sites before and will go after you legally if you do not comply.

    Here is an interesting thread from the Football Forums concerning this outfit.

    http://www.thefootballforum.net/inde...otball-dataco/

    Whilst a couple of years old, Data Co's mo still remains pretty much the same.
    Exit stage left

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    Quote Originally Posted by FictionNet View Post
    I can't believe I've never heard of this before. Dataco sound like a bunch of twatbags. Nothing in UK law surprises me any more. Sometimes I hate my own ******* country so much.
    I believe it is some legislation that was passed in 1969 or thereabouts. Don't blame data co or the uk so much. Blame the clubs and the players that have made the game many of us love a money pit.
    Exit stage left

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    Yeah i think your spot on Dave, what you say about the supporters clubs etc rings a bell as does the Watford case, there has also been a court case and i will search for a link about it and if i recall it was ambiguous at best but basically covered Dataco.

    There was a time when Soccerway pulled upcoming premiership fixtures if i recall and they were then a Dutch company (since then perform group has taken a big stake) due to threats from Dataco so it does not matter if you are not UK based, they will still go after European based websites if they choose and i am fairly certain the above mentioned court case was a EU court case,

    There does however appear to have been a recent case about database copywrite affecting Dataco which they of course won here

    http://www.swanturton.com/ebulletins...tureLists.aspx

    and this one against Stan James if i read it right and yupn Dataco won again it appears

    http://lexisweb.co.uk/cases/2010/Apr...Ltd-and-others

    Now i may be reading this slightly wrong not sure but if Datco take on the big bookies then what chance do little guys have
    Arthritis Care

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    This is from Wikipedia, sort of says it all really

    The company has been racked by controversy in the UK media, after a 2004 European Court of Justice ruling that the Premier League and Football League cannot use the European Database Directive to demand payment from media and pools companies for the publication of fixture lists. Football DataCo refute the ruling, arguing that a legal precedent was set in the UK back in 1959, when the Football League won a landmark copyright victory against Littlewoods, claiming income from the pools company for their use of the fixtures list.

    Staunch opponents of Football DataCo argue that the ruling is long out of date, and needs to be brought more inline with the advances in information collection and delivery that we are seeing with the World Wide Web.

    Small, independently owned football fan sites have been badly hit by Football DataCo, who even charge non-profit making enterprises the standard fee for use of single club fixture data unless adopted by a club as a "Nominated Fanzine" in which case the charge is £1.00 plus VAT. This has meant that many fanzines have been threatened with removal of the fixtures by Football DataCo[1].

    The company has also challenged many not-for-profit websites over their use of football club badges on their websites.

    The licensing business outside of the UK is handled by Fixtures Marketing Ltd[2], which has files lawsuits against Finnish Oy Veikkaus AB, Swedish AB Svenska Spel and Greek Organismos Prognostikon Agonon Pododfairou AE for using fixture lists without a licence[3].


    As you can see they also have gone after Greek, Finnish and Swedish companies as well

    EDIT:

    Just noticed as well that they also seem to go after clubs badges!

    Seems ridiculous to me and the clubs should be ashamed that they allow their own supporters with websites to be treated like this.
    Last edited by Betpartners; 5 August 2010 at 7:35 am. Reason: added more
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    Simmo! is offline Public Member
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    It's a sad reflection of the game becoming more of a business that fixture lists, randomly drawn, are a copyrighted commodity. You only have to listen to the PL chiefs taking about their "brand" to realise that the game itself is no longer the motivation.

    Clubs making money and paying footballers a lot is OK for me - they are the ones with the skill and why we love football and you get what you pay for (as Sunderland will soon find out when they field Titus Bramble). It's these people that care more about the money than the game that **** me off. They dress it up in "funding grass roots football" and all that sort of bull when really they are just an excuse for more people to take a slice of the very lucrative cake. DataCo are a probably the worst example.

    To think I can't say "Arsenal vs Liverpool on 3rd December" without paying for the priviledge?!? It's one of the most ridiculous things I ever heard and those who introduced the idea should be ashamed of what they are doing to the game.

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    Agreed Ian

    If i am correct my avatar is in fact breaking the law as i have not seeked permission from either Dataco or Tottenham Hotspur to publish it.

    Now that is annoying.
    Arthritis Care

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    Isn't it punishment enough having it assigned to your GPWA account? Let alone being sued for displaying it LOL
    Exit stage left

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