DomainNamesDomain names has become a principal component in the sportsindustry as business identifier, as the use of internet for the commercialactivity has increased momentously. It helps in finding the appropriate site onthe internet and helps in meliorating communication of players and teams withthe common masses. Events are broadcasted on these sites which implements thedissemination of enormous information related to sports. This has helped inacquiring huge market value in branding. One can note that apart from sportsclubs having sites of their own, there are some international sportsmen whohave their own sites like www.brettlee.
com, www.sachintendulkar.in etc.Cyber squatters have been given an opportunity to takebenefit of the confusion which may be attributable solely to domain names.Because of the lack of separate domain name registration in India, one canregister the domain name as trademark. BroadcastingRightsThese rights are apprehended by the Indian Copyright Act,1957. The term for exercising broadcasting rights is twenty-five years. Theserights are usually exercised by the broadcasting companies which also allowsthem to rebroadcast the same event.
According to this Act, any person not withholding the licenseto broadcast from the owner: -1) Rebroadcasts the broadcast.2) On payment of fees cause the broadcast to beheard or seen by the public.3) Makes a video or sound recording of thebroadcast.4) Sells these recording to the public or made anyoffer to sell or hire these recordings. Is liable for the punishment of infringement ofthe broadcasting rights. Unauthorized downloading also comes under this whosepunishment is mentioned in the Section 43 of the Information Technology Act,2000, which provides for a punishment of Rs.
One crore. Ambush Marketing Lack of adefinite legal framework in India has led to the rise of Ambush Marketing. Itrefers to a company’s attempt to capitalize over the popularity of a well-knownor established event or property without the appropriate authorization orconsent of the necessary parties. It involves a third party to create anassociation with the sportsmen or any event in which they are participatingwithout their approval.
This leads to the defying of official partners andsponsors in acquiring their share of the commercial value due to their officialdesignation. Ambush marketing has become a very cheap way of attractingcustomers to one’s brand. AmbushMarketing may include; -1) Unofficial corporate sponsorship.2) Unauthorized use of event logo or seal on themerchandise.3) False claims of being the official sponsors ofa particular team.4) Creating unofficial films, videos or websites.
Specificlegislation for combating ambush marketing is absent in India. Most of thesecases are considered under various IP laws like copyright or trademark law. Conclusion In today’sera one can clearly notice that the competition amongst the associations andthe sports clubs is not only witnessed on the sports or event field but also inthe business for making huge profits. Sports clubs are now exploring theirintellectual property and are entering the business in the form of computergames, merchandising, and so on. This adventure of sports clubs of earningprofits by exploiting their IP makes it essential for them to adequatelyprotect their IP. Protection of these IPs could take various forms such asagreements binding by certain terms and proper conditions, registrations etc.
The IP repertoire of a sports organization is bound to grow with expansion ofits business operations and with the popularity of the team or the players thevalue of such repertoire grows significantly. Regular IP audits and valuationmust be conducted in order to nurture the intellectual properties as mostbusiness models related to the commercialization of sports and games are based onthe IP wealth of the sports clubs. Adequate protection and maintenance of IPportfolio is also crucial.