Sports, Media and Intellectual Property Law
Sporting events often attract significant public attention and media coverage, and broadcasting rights for the major leagues and tournaments are purchased for vast amounts. Yet, the interface of sports, media and intellectual property law has received only limited academic attention so far. The seminar will examine the central legal aspects of this interface from a comparative perspective, exploring the relevant legal regimes in the United States, Canada, and Israel, with occasional references to the European Union. Discussion will cover cutting-edge topics such as the nature of broadcasting rights to sporting events and the protection afforded to such rights under intellectual property law; the use of images of famous athletes and athletes’ “right of publicity”, media regulation of broadcasting exclusivity and access to sports broadcasts; access to highlights and statistics; sports merchandising and the use of marks and symbols of teams and tournaments, as well as the legal implications of recent technological developments for this field. The short essay is graded on a pass/fail basis.