Giving the kind of brand equity cricket commands, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been majestically proactive in protecting its rights (and the rights of rights holders) over the game.
Result: representatives of Cricinfo, which is now owned by ESPN, cannot file from the press box and have to watch the match from the stands, because the rights are with Star.
Result: news agencies routinely boycott coverage of matches, especially by way of pictures.
Result: a legend like Jim Maxwell of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) skipped the recent series because ABC didn’t have the rights.
With the Indian Premier League (IPL) around the corner, BCCI’s legal representatives (operating from the safe confines of a post office box number in Bangalore) have shot off letters to print organisations on the use of logos, trademarks, word marks and other “proprietary content”.
The eight-point list of don’ts is revealing:
Please be informed that, without license, your publication/s may not:
i. use any or all of the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Proprietary Content in conjunction with any advertisement, message, name, logo, trade mark or word mark of any third party;
ii. publish any article, match synopsis, match review, or snap-shot relating to the Pepsi IPL or any previous IPL seasons that uses any or all of the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Proprietary Content in conjunction with any unlicensed advertisement, message, name, logo, trade mark or word mark of a third party,
iii. publish any photograph that relates to the Pepsi IPL or any previous seasons of the IPL that is sponsored by any third party, or contain catchphrases that refer to any third party (e.g, “Entity A’ Moment of the Match”),
iv. publish third party sponsored or presented score-cards of Pepsi IPL matches,
v. publish third party sponsored capsules or tables containing fixtures, timings and/or venue details of Pepsi IPL matches,
vi. publish any syndicated column that displays any or all of the IPL Names, IPL Marks and IPL Proprietary Content and displays the name, trade mark, word mark logo of any commercial or non-commercial entity/entities,
vii. publish a special page, section or supplement relating to Pepsi IPL that displays any or all of the IPL Names, IPL Marks, and IPL Proprietary Content in conjunction with any advertisement, message, name, logo, trade mark or word mark of a third party, or
viii. publish still images by altering or deliberately removing, replacing or obscuring any logo of a sponsor of the BCCI-IPL, a participating team or a participating player;
Also read: How journalists are aiding the decadent IPL