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Correction: The Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) announced its support of the would-be class action against YouTube and Google; it did not join the suit but encouraged its members “to actively join” the suit.
Nineteen more soccer leagues from across Europe have joined the would-be class action copyright suit against YouTube. The suit was started in May by England’s Premier League and music publisher Bourne and was joined this month by France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel and Federation Francaise de Tennis plus music publisher Cherry Lane. Now the Association of European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL), which represents both the English and French soccer leagues and 17 others with over 500 clubs, has joined in.
Interestingly, Switzerland-based EFPL makes specific reference to YouTube’s decision to launch nine local sites, seven of which are in Europe: “The EPFL is concerned that YouTube has launched localized sites across the world including in France, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK, and is inviting its members, who arrange collectively football games viewed annually by billions of people in approximately 204 countries around the world, to take action with the intention of protecting its legitimate rights.” Release.
Goal clips from European TV networks regularly appear on video sharing nets – the original plaintiffs filed in a New York federal court for an injunction forcing YouTube to respect copyright, but the EFPL really only represents leagues’ interests in the Uefa governing body and, it seems, can only encourage its individual members to offer their own support.