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Advocate General supports Team Yahoo in fight over football fixture lists

15 December 2011

Today, Advocate General Mengozzi delivered his Opinion to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on some "short" and "simple" questions referred to the CJEU by the English Court of Appeal in the case of Football Dataco Ltd and Ors v Yahoo! UK Ltd.

The Opinion relates to the scope of copyright protection for databases. The Opinion states that a database, including the likes of football fixture lists and TV listings, can only be protected by copyright if it is an original intellectual creation of its author. Any creative effort in determining the elements of the database is a data creation activity and so does not count.

Mark Daniels, an expert in copyright law at Browne Jacobson, commented:

"AG Mengozzis Opinion, if followed by the CJEU, will be a blow to the creators of sporting fixture lists and similar databases. No matter how much creative effort goes into the difficult task of creating a set of sporting fixtures, copyright in the database will only subsist if the presentation of the database is also in some way creative."

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