The EPL Is Cracking Down On GIFs And Vines Because They Don’t Want You To Watch Their Sport

Today in really poor decisions made by professional sports leagues comes word of the EPL banning GIFs and Vines for this upcoming season, specifically clips of goals. The Premiere League claims it has developed technology (GIF and Vine crawlers) and will work closely with Twitter to get media taken down.

This of course deals with intellectual property and the money spent by Sky Sports, The Sun and The Times to distribute EPL coverage. Here’s BBC Premier League director of communications Dan Johnson with the legal mumbo-jumbo.

“It’s a breach of copyright and we would discourage fans from doing it, we’re developing technologies like gif crawlers, Vine crawlers, working with Twitter to look to curtail this kind of activity.”
“I know it sounds as if we’re killjoys but we have to protect our intellectual property.”

And you know what this is ultimately going to do? Alienate fans, particularly the fringe ones who only catch games here and there. These sports leagues simply don’t understand that GIFs and Vines serve as free publicity, free promotion for them. I’m amazed at how short-sighted this is. I’m amazed at how unbelievably dumb this is. I eagerly await the EPL’s inevitable drop in ratings, especially in the U.S.

By the way, you know who’s absolutely thrilled at this news? The MLS, that’s who. They’re on the verge of blowing up and the EPL just gave them the boost they needed. Hooray!