Soccer fans around the world are anxiously anticipating this summer's FIFA World Cup. FIFA's broadcast partner, Infront Sports and Media, is apparently looking ahead to the World Cup for a different reason. With the exclusive broadcast rights in hand, Infront's lawyers are sending pre-emptive notice and takedown notifications to Internet service providers. One Canadian ISP has received a letter from Baker & McKenzie, the Infront's Canadian counsel, in which the firm notes the potential for the posting of unauthorized clips or images from the games and demands:
"Should your service be used for the purpose of such unlawful activities we will alert you as a matter of urgency and trust you will assist in taking down any infringing material so you can avoid any joint liability for such infringements, as well as assisting us in identifying the infringers."
While the World Cup is an important sports event, is it really so important that its rights holders and their lawyers believe that Canadian law doesn't apply to them? At least three issues come to mind.