Monday, March 10, 2008
Horseracing industry calls for protection of racing data and images

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) has called today upon the member countries of the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property right Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva to improve the legal protection of racing data and images. The IFHA made the call to government representatives at the WIPO Standing Committee on Copyrights and Related rights, which meets in Geneva from 10 to12 March to discuss a new Broadcasting Treaty. The IFHA is attending the meeting as formal observer.

“With a race somewhere in the world every 3 minutes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, horseracing is the main driver of the betting industry”, says IFHA Exective Director Maurits Bruggink, “it is also an expensive product to produce and it is therefore absolutely fair and normal that betting operators who base their business model on our activity contribute to its costs. Racing data and images are the commercial result of our activity for which operators should rightfully pay.”

The IFHA urges the WIPO member countries to introduce specific provisions to protect distribution through new digital platforms, like simulcasting and webcasting. They allow for the real-time view of races, which is particularly relevant for betting and therefore sensitive for piracy. The existing traditional laws, like copyrights, are not sufficiently geared towards the protection against new forms of digital distribution.

The IFHA will discuss the matter with a number of countries this week and looks forward in making a continuous contribution to the establishment of international IPR legislation.

The IFHA is the single representative body for the global racing industry with members from over 50 countries, including all the main racing nations. It was created in 1993 to harmonize the rules of member countries regarding breeding and racing in order to maintain the integrity of each, to protect the welfare of industry participants both human and equine and to promote fair trade in the racing and betting product.

For further information, contact:
Maurits Bruggink
Executive Director, IFHA
T. +33.6.08967895