Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Copyright Issue


Organizers of Mtel Masters have accused some of the playing websites for piracy.

(Sofia, May 13, 2006) Pirates broadcast the super chess tournament M-Tel Masters in internet. The biggest game server in the world ICC (www.chessclub.com) announces the live broadcast of the moves from the games in the tournament. The transmission is being done by using signal from the official web site of M-Tel Masters 2006 – www.mtelmasters06.com, which is violation of the copyrights of the organizes of the competition.

According to the copyright laws the access to the games on the tournament web site is free only after the end of each game when the files with the moves can be downloaded by any internet user.

WorldChessNetwork was doing the same transmission and I guess PlayChess used the official website as well. Are they trying to copyright chess moves? If you review the "regulations" and "press" sections, there is no statement of copyright.


These are the words of an experienced lawyer: "If the moves are broadcast, and if the moves are then taken by a third party independently of the written material or commentary, there is no copyright violation. Chess moves, are by their nature, incapable of being copyrighted."


Opinions?


7 comments:

doggy said...

Okay, so it's not prohibited to broadcast moves, as long as you do it afterwards. I think Mtel have a point: part of the money needed for the organization of the tournament is earned via the website. You don't want to lose visitors. Perhaps there should be a rule that other websites may only broadcast games with a thirty minute relay.

Milan Lee said...

ICC, WCN and PlayChess are charging for membership and in exchange they provide GMs for commentary. So their members pay for better service. Mtel is not losing visitors, at least not those who want to watch for free.

They don't have a point as there is no copyright statement on their website. But even such statement wouldn't be enough as chess moves are not copyrighted in real time.

Only possible is "MonRoi" way. They use their system to broadcast games to live audience in playing hall, and they ask all website visitors to agree not to broadcast moves before entering their flash applet games. But also this policy can be hardly enforced.

Jaspur said...

I think the main reason for a chess tournaments funding is sponsorship. Ok, if about 50.000 ppl log onto the website, wouldnt it crash ?, i believe that they only got 50.000 "viewers", by the fact, that other webserver broadcast their material.

This must be a huge joke or something.

Phil Harris said...

Briefly on the subject of MonRoi. When you log on to view a game, you are required to confirm that you accept MonRois ownership of the game, in perpertuity....
I would be interested to see exactly how hard they try to defend this small print. Will they go after Chessbase when games played with their system appear in the big database?
I am hoping that MonRoi simply employed a lawyer with no knowledge or understanding of the position regarding copywriting chess games.
The alternative, that MonRoi plans to make money from a catalogue of collected games, leaves a very nasty taste in my mouth....

Milan Lee said...

Hi Phil, in brief, I think it's impossible to defend such policy. I posted games Karpov-Portisch while MonRoi was exclusive broadcaster (althou I took the games from different source).
http://chesslodge.blogspot.com/2006/02/finally-games-karpov-portisch.html

phil harris said...

Has anyone from MonRoi commented on this Goran?

Milan Lee said...

Not that I know. You can meet them in Turin, they are following Canadain team.