PSL wins betting copyright fight

2014-02-28 17:10

The Premier Soccer League (PSL) owns the copyright to betting on its fixtures, chairperson Irvin Khoza has announced.

This follows a drawn-out legal battle between the PSL and National Lottery distributor Gidani, which the league accused of unlawfully using its intellectual property (league fixtures) to generate millions in revenue.

Gidani included PSL fixtures in SportStake, a football betting game in which a listing of 12 fixtures is published in the order of home team versus visiting team.

For each of these fixtures, a player must select a home win, a draw or an away win.

To compile the listing, Gidani had also utilised fixtures from the Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, English leagues, among others.

Khoza said Gidani had been generating millions, a share of which should benefit South African football.

“The millions of rands that are made out of our fixtures was mind-boggling when we got the statistics,” Khoza said, without quantifying this claim.

He added: “Now that we are going to be sharing the spoils, I think it’s going to be a win-win for us and the betting houses.

“As the PSL, we are not encouraging betting but we were just protecting what belongs to us. Intellectual property is very important and in this instance, we are protecting our content.”

Now that the PSL had confirmed copyright ownership in court, Khoza said, “we’re not saying we are going stop them but we are going to regulate them so far as making sure that there is a legal arrangement between us and those betting houses to ensure that there is a benefit for the league and its teams”.

Khoza said the PSL board of governors would decide on how they channel the profits to the clubs.

Gidani has not indicated yet whether it will appeal against the South Gauteng High Court ruling.

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