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The Premier League Once Again Demonstrates Its Fine-Grained Understanding of the Internet

Posted By Brian Phillips On February 13, 2009 @ 3:13 pm In Uncategorized | 19 Comments

The Premier League, via its quasi-legal minions at NetResult, is attempting to force The Offside to remove the UK football club logos from their site. This is annoying on various levels—as yet another instance in the ongoing war against cultural liquidity by corporate interests that would like to define fair use out of existence, as yet another high-handed gesture of contempt from the world’s most tone-deaf sports league—but now probably isn’t the moment for the essay on intellectual property and creative ferment that I’d kind of like to write.

So I’ll just ask, yet again, how a league that claims to represent modernity can be so clueless about what modernity actually means, and how a league that ruthlessly pursues its own enlargement can be this blind to its own self-interest. A clip of a beautiful goal on YouTube is an evangelist for the league a thousand times more effective than an ad on Sky Sports, but you get the feeling that, too dim to conceive of a future beyond Chelsea-branded Buck Rogers ray guns, the people in charge would rather alienate their own fans and cut themselves off from the internet than lose a tiny and largely theoretical revenue stream that they don’t understand in the first place. It’s as if Random House decided to sue The New York Review of Books for running a picture of one their titles. It’s frustrating.

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