Incredibly, the words Blind, Stupid, Desperate and Watford are used below, yet there is no reference to the hiring of Gianluca Vialli. When Saturday Comes’ Ian Plenderleith on the lunacy of a Watford fansite being banned from listing upcoming matches.
The issue of copyright for football fixtures is in the news again after DataCo — the FA and Football League’s joint commercial venture — closed the Watford webzine Blind, Stupid and Desperate (BSaD) for listing, ahead of time, Watford’s fixture with Leicester Cit in October.
BSaD received one email from DataCo threatneing to shut the site if the fixture was not removes, or if an annual license fee of 266.00 (GBP) plus VAT was not paid. After contacting other sites that had received similar letters, it ignored them. DataCo then approached BSaD’s internet service provider claiming it had contacted the webzine “several times” and ordered it to shut it down. The ISP complied.
“If…we are not permitted to observe that we are playing Leicester City at Vicarage Road on Saturday” BSaD wrote to DataCo’s general manager David Folker, “then it seems to us that your company’s pursuit of its rights has reached a point of breathtaking absurdity.”
Considering all the despair this past year over dwindling attendence figures, it does seem particularly foolish of the FA to have lent approval to any scheme in which individuals are prevented from telling others where and when the matches are taking place.