Saturday, February 11, 2006


The whole issue of copyright over cricket score SMSes is a “trial balloon” floated by the BCCI, according to a source, and the firm that has taken mobile phone companies to court is a front. The essential argument made by this firm (Marksman Marketing Services Private Limited) is that if there are audio rights and video rights why cant there be textual rights? So the BCCI is testing the waters to see if the courts will allow rights over text. It will obviously mean more money for the Board of control for cricket (or commerce) in India. Heres a gist of what both sides are saying – For all practical purposes, lets just call them – BCCI and Mobile Co.’s

BCCI: Scores constitute ‘hot news’ that I as the owner of a match can exploit.
Mobile Co.’s: Its hardly ‘hot’ because there is a delay in transmission of the SMS by atleast 4 minutes and Sec.13 of the Copyright Act has not been amended to include any concept of ‘hot news’.

BCCI: There is a shelf life to the news and by giving latest updates you are commercially exploiting my information.
Mobile Co.’s: Rubbish! Its not ‘your’ information and we get the news from TV so the scores are already in the public domain.

BCCI: It is an intellectual property
Mobile Co.’s: A cricket score is NOT intellectual property!

BCCI: If mobile phone companies make a tidy sum giving these updates, why should I – the owner of the event forego the right?
Mobile Co.’s: It’s a value-added service in larger public interest. We create the SMS so why should we pay you!

And so on and so forth. . . This is unchartered territory even in highly sophisticated sports marketing and the matter is likely to go all the way up to the Supreme Court resulting in a landmark judgment.


Recho said...


Neodawn said...

I am BCCIed...(Bored of Control of Cricket in India)

These guys in the BCCI want to milk the cash cow to the last drop. But then, whats Cricket in India without the mindless drama?

Sheks said...

this will atleast draw more viewers to the television.

antickpix said...

this is an intriguing case which IMO isn't as open-and-shut as it seems superficially, ie BCCI are greedy and Mobile phone cos. can send the information.

for one thing, cricket is a commercial sport, and the mobile cos. aren't providing a public service by their text scores.

they create the sms and more importantly, charge for it. So, the BCCI probably does have a right to demand a piece of the pie, however money grubbing it may seem.

Or perhaps at least give the sponsor (such as Hutch in this case) some preferential treatment towards providing the score, just as they do for TV rights.

Will be interesting to see what the outcome is..

Alaphia Zoyab said...

Hello Neo,

Im pretty bored too.

Hello young sheks... perhaps.

Indian Bachelor said...


you are really popular! i mean you have your own wikipedia entry!!

Revanta said...

Though I'm sure the BCCI's intention here is more revenue - what makes this more important is how the Indian judicial system responds to the growing trends in technology and the fuzzy boundaries of IP law.
I wonder if I can call someone in India to get the cricket score ... without the BCCI objecting

REFLEX said...

whats the NEWS abt SRM. did u get hurt in any of the chaos over there ?

Anonymous said...

Change ur title to this.

Anonymous said...

read abt the srm incident. hope u r doin ok.

Anonymous said...

Must applaud the courageous efforts journalists like you take to bring forth loop holes that exist in the functioning of educational and other institutions in our country. In a way bringing the news to the ears of the common man is bringing justice to those whose problems remain unexposed. Keep the the good work and may the lord always be there with you protecting you.

Kiruba Shankar said...

Hey alaphia, read about the SRM incident. Hope you are doing OK.

Shobha said...

Just started frequenting your blog. Read that you were injured during the fracas...hope you are doing fine...

Sheks said...

read in the paper tht u got injured in SRM.too unfortunate.get well soon!:)

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