Saturday, November 20, 2010

US Risks Not Getting FIFA World Cup... Because It Won't Give FIFA Special Copyright Powers

US Risks Not Getting FIFA World Cup... Because It Won't Give FIFA Special Copyright Powers: "The US is bidding on hosting the 2022 World Cup, and the decision will
be made in a few weeks. Soccer's governing body, FIFA, recently released
its technical reports on all of the various bids, detailing things
like the number of stadia available and what would need to be built
should a country win, the availability of training grounds, hotel
rooms, transportation and so on. The US scores very favorably on all
of these accounts, but the bid has been labeled 'medium risk' because

'the necessary government support has not been documented as neither
the Government Guarantees, the Government Declaration nor the
Government Legal Statement have been provided in compliance with
FIFA's requirements for government documents.'

Guess what that means? The US bid committee hasn't secured a commitment from the US
government that it will give FIFA the right to act as its own
copyright cops
and takeover the legal system
so it can do things like criminalize wearing orange clothes. As the full
FIFA report

(PDF) puts it: 'However, as the required guarantees, undertakings and
confirmations are not given as part of Government Guarantee No. 6
(Protection and Exploitation of Commercial Rights) and mere reference
is made to existing general intellectual property laws in the USA,
FIFA's rights protection programme cannot be ensured.'

It's clear that FIFA expects carte blanche to set up its own special
legal protection in any country that hosts the event; it gives the bid
from Belgium and the Netherlands a black mark because it 'contains no
guarantees, undertakings or confirmations with legal effect beyond
existing laws'. It also slates a number of countries for having
'existing regulations... which adversely affect the free and
unrestricted exploitation of media rights'. The report indicates that
just three bids fully meet FIFA's desire to have the ability to enact
its own copyright and media laws: the human-rights hotbeds of Qatar
and Russia, and the joint bid from Spain and Portugal.

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